Thierry Henry made his MLS debut last night when he started for the New York Red Bulls in the Barclays New York challenge. In the opening game of the tournament, the Red Bulls hosted the Tottenham Hotspurs from England.
In the 25th minute, Henry took a centering pass from Joel Lindpere and slid in to beat Spurs goalie Carlo Cudicini, giving the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead.
After he scored, he had a message for the fans behind the north goal: "I'm here," he said. More emphatically, he said "I'll say it again. I'm here to stay."
The crowd exploded numerous times during the first half when Henry made some dazzling moves. He was subbed out for the start of the second half, as the Red Bulls had many chances to tally goals, but were only able to come away with the one goal and led 1-0 at the end of 45 minutes.
When Henry didn't start the second half, things fell apart for the Red Bulls. The defense was caught out of position twice as Robbie Keane and Gareth Bale netted goals in a ten minute stretch for the Spurs, who they fended off numerous attacks in the late minutes to secure a 2-1 lead to kick off the tournament.
The Red Bulls are currently in second place in the Eastern division of the MLS with 26 points, but with Henry they are a much better team. And if he can get in shape and be able to play a full 90 minutes, they have a real shot at doing damage in the playoffs.