There is no larger figure in Major League Soccer right now than Thierry Henry. He really is all that and a stack of Pringles.
The Player of the Month for March is already having a wow-wow April. Three commanding performances from the Red Bulls striker has driven the formerly reeling side to three commanding wins. The was a 4-1 result over Colorado, a 5-2 thrashing of Montreal and then yesterday’s thoroughly dominant afternoon against Columbus, a 4-1 win on the road.
Henry hit for two goals and an assist, clearly grabbing the pole position and establishing himself as the (admittedly very) early MVP front-runner.
Watch his influence on the first Red Bulls goal yesterday. Yes, the defending was utterly pedestrian, with Henry having way too much time to pick out Kenny Cooper, and then too much time and space afforded to the big striker inside the 18.
Still, Henry started the sequence with his smart, early ball out to the right wing. Then he continues to drift, remaining in the right, playmaking place to serve Cooper with a ball that’s effective because it’s simple and precise.
The defending is so poor in so many ways on Henry’s first goal, it’s hardly worth talking about. The finish is top-class, but it’s nothing less than you would expect from a world class talent drifting in on goal alone, as if this were some Tuesday morning training ground drill.
His second goal was a stat-padder, admittedly; the game was decided by the time he hit for New York’s fourth in the 90th. Still, there’s so much to like about his league-leading 7th strike. The timing of his entrance into the penalty area shouldn’t be undersold; not so early as to be marked, not so late as to eliminate himself from the sequence. Then, Henry’s composed and accurate first touch tees up that unstoppable volley.