Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Thierry Henry’s Montreal, Seattle’s Ibarra get clever with TP (video)

Leave a comment

Like the majority of us, MLS players are limited in his opportunities to find live soccer.

The (social) distance between them didn’t stop isolated Montreal Impact players and Seattle Sounders midfielder Miguel Ibarra from getting in some touches in a challenge inspired by Atlanta United boss Frank de Boer (and, really, a quality PR team).

Whether you call it juggling or keep-ups, you won’t deny that the “ball” is pretty clever given the coronavirus-challenged times.

Let’s begin in Quebec, where Thierry Henry led his men through juggling and “passing” (presumably) taped-up toilet paper rolls to each other via video on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

And let’s be real… Titi is the star with that classy pass.

As for Ibarra, the Seattle Sounders man is, however, proving to have quite sense of humor during his time at home.

The three-times capped USMNT midfielder filmed himself juggling a roll as well.

He was doing pretty well until his dog went all N’Golo Kante on him.

Ibarra turned 30 on Sunday, and had started both of his MLS matches since signing with Seattle.

He’s spent most of his career with Minnesota United, NASL and MLS stints of their existence broken up by time with Club Leon.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Incredible Taidir goal gives Montreal hope despite first leg loss (video)

Montreal Impact
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Montreal Impact have a hill to climb if they are to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, but scored a marvelous goal in a 2-1 first leg loss to CD Olimpia in Quebec.

Jerry Bengtson and Jorge Benguche scored for the Honduran side, which will bring a lead and two away goals home.

Montreal out-attempted Olimpia 10-4 and had 67 percent of the ball, but was hit twice on the counter.

The second leg is March 17 in Tegucigalpa.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Saphir Taidir scored a sensational goal for Montreal to drag them back into the tie.

Former Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama made his Montreal debut in the loss, a week after transferring from Tottenham. He assisted Taidir’s goal.

The winner of the tie will meet the winner of the New York City FC-UANL Tigres quarterfinal.

CCL wrap: Stoppage-time GK goal saves Tigres; Henry’s Montreal grinds it out

Goalie goal
Photo by Andrea Jimenez/Jam Media/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League nearly featured an upset for the ages.

It will have to be content with a finish for all time.

El Salvador’s Alianza came back from a 4-2 aggregate deficit to nearly knock UANL Tigres out of the CCL, but Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman provided a stoppage time goal to eliminate the upstarts.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Tigres will now meet Ronny Delia’s New York City FC, who had little trouble holding up its first-leg lead over San Carlos.

Thierry Henry’s Montreal had to sweat out a scoreless draw with Saprissa, but rode its two away goals to a date with either Seattle or Olimpia.

Guatemala’s Comunicaciones and Club America are the final match of Wednesday, kicking off at 10 a.m. ET.

UANL Tigres 4-2 (5-4 agg.) Alianza

What a match. Down 2-1 after one leg, Tigres scored thrice in the first 23 minutes. Ex-West Ham man Enner Valencia struck first before Andre-Pierre Gignac score in the 17th and 23rd.

But Juan Carlos Portillo scored twice in nine minutes before halftime to put the away goals advantage in the Salvadorans’ corner.

Tigres out-attempted Alianza 19-6 but couldn’t get it done, and my goodness did it need shot No. 19 from its Argentine international backstop.

Great header for a goalie.

Montreal Impact 0-0 (2-2 agg.) Deportivo Saprissa

This was a dreadful match, but it won’t bother Titi too much; Henry’s men had just 31 percent of the ball and nearly scored anyway through Shamit Shome.

The Impact showed a lot of guts and discipline in frustrating the Costa Ricans, who were disappointed when Clement Diop made an incredible save in the 89th minute.

NYCFC 1-0 (6-3 agg.) San Carlos

Alexander Callens scored the lone goal of the contest, the damage done in Costa Rica last week.

Speaking of damage done, Delia had a “Welcome to CONCACAF officiating” moment.

 

VIDEO: Henry’s Montreal debut ends with dramatic collapse

Leave a comment

Thierry Henry’s first game in charge of the Montreal Impact started well but ended in a dramatic collapse. The legendary Frenchman probably has CCL fever right about now.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage

Montreal drew 2-2 at Deportivo Saprissa in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League last 16 game on Wednesday as Orji Okwonkwo and Romell Quioto put them 2-0 up inside the first 22 minutes but Saprissa struck twice in the final 10 minutes to draw level. Both of Montreal’s goalscorers went off injured and after a tough preseason a late collapse

Johan Venegas pulled one back for the Costa Rican side in the 80th minute and Ariel Rodriguez equalized in the 90th minute to set up an intriguing second leg at the Olympic Stadium next Wednesday as the winner will face the Seattle Sounders or C.D. Olimpia in the quarterfinals.

Henry’s first official game in charge of the Major League Soccer franchise will have taught him a lot about his team and in truth they were pretty lucky to grab a draw as Saprissa outshot them 22-7 and had 72 percent of the possession.

Via MLSsoccer.com, the Arsenal and France legend was happy with the spirit his young side showed after a tough offseason which saw them lose four of their five preseason games amid plenty of turnover in the squad.

“We tried to compete, it was always going to be a difficult second half, but overall, I cannot say anything to my team,” Henry said. “Obviously there are some things that we need to work on, on how we conceded the goals, but you could see how it was difficult at times to cover each other. But at the end of the day, as a coach, when you see your team fighting like that up until the end you can only be proud. Obviously there’s some stuff that we can work on, don’t get it twisted, but I have to be proud about how they played. Especially how we arrived there in the situation that we are in.”

Going away to Costa Rica to play an experience team like Saprissa was never going to be easy and Henry’s side are at least level for the return game but Montreal’s squad is looking pretty young and replacing the creativity and goals of Ignacio Piatti is going to be tough.

Check out the highlights of the dramatic Saprissa comeback in the video above.

Pep on record-collecting Aguero: ‘He’s a legend and legends rise’

Leave a comment

Sergio Aguero had a hand in four of six Manchester City goals in a 6-1 blowout of Aston Villa on Sunday.

The performance etched his name twice more in the Premier League record books, as he became the league’s all-time leading foreign-born scorer (177) and hat trick hero (12).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Those records were held by Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer, which is nice.

Aguero reacted with humility to the achievement, but Pep Guardiola sang the praises of his Argentine mega finisher.

“He’s a legend and legends rise tonight. Thierry Henry is one most incredible players to play in this league and he will be proud that Sergio is the guy who breaks his record. He was a legend and Sergio is the same. To score this amount of goals means you have done for many years a lot of good things. He’s been consistent for many years and so we are proud of him.

“He is the most incredible person. You cannot achieve this without being a guy who loves to play football.”

Aguero is tied with Frank Lampard for the fourth-most goals in league history with 177, both 10 behind Andy Cole. Next is Wayne Rooney with 208 and Alan Shearer’s absurd 260. It seems likely Aguero will finish his time in England in third and it could happen this season.

Aguero’s .69 goals per game is higher than every player to score 100 Premier League goals, though Henry (.68) and contemporary Harry Kane (.68) are just behind.