At least Thierry Henry is being right up front about his availability for Saturday’s match in New England; We’ll call his status “iffy.”
Henry doesn’t like to play on artificial turf. He’s hardly the first big star to show outright disdain for the fake stuff; David Beckham had a famous ill regard, as well. It’s a bit of an issue in MLS because four teams play their home matches on artificial turf. It’s not quite as much of a sticky wicket for teams in the East (like New York), because three-quarters of the faux field brigade is in the West.
Still, it’s an issue.
Previously this season, Henry bowed out of a match in Montreal, where early-season matches are held indoors. (The team’s usual home ground, Stade Saputo, is outdoors and anchored with a natural grass field.) How much was the turf, and how much was an ongoing knee ailment at that time, only Henry and perhaps the team’s medical staff could truly say.
This time around, Henry has just said, in effect, “it’s turf, so I don’t know.”
I’ve got to speak with Mike [Petke, the Red Bulls manager]. I’ve never played there, so we’ll see how it is.”
Henry is among the league’s goal scoring leaders, one off the pace-setters. He has five goals in 11 games in 2013.
Saturday’s contest from Gillette Stadium kicks off at 7:30 E.T.; it’s free this weekend on MLS Live.