New York Red Bulls
July 14, 2010 by staff
The 32-year-old former Arsenal and Barcelona player signed a multiyear contract on Wednesday and is expected to debut with Red Bulls on July 22 in a friendly against Tottenham in the Premier League club.
“Some people might think I’m going there on holiday – I really go there on vacation – but not for vacation right now,” Henry said in a video interview on the club’s website. “I am a competitor and I hate to lose.”
Henry was released by Barcelona last month, having scored four goals last season.
“This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life,” said Henry.
Henry will be presented at a press conference Thursday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ
“Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our team, but has proven to be most important throughout his career that he is a winner,” said Erik Soler, general manager and sports director of the Red Bulls. “He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help make our vision of our organization’s premium franchise of Major League Soccer.”
With France, Henry won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 but provoked outrage last year when his handball in a playoff game helped the Irish a place in the World Cup this year.
In the finals in South Africa, France came to the group stage after the team was beset by a players’ protest.
Henry led Arsenal to the Premier League title in 2002 and 2004 before leaving in 2007 to join Barcelona, where he won six trophies in 2009 – the Champions League, Spanish League, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, Super Cup UEFA and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Red Bulls, formerly known as the MetroStars, have a history of signing star players in the twilight of their careers. Italy’s Roberto Donadoni, played for them in 1996 and ’97, the Brazilian Branco was with them in 1997, the German Loathe Mathematics in 2000 and France’s Youri Djorkaeff was here in 2005 and ’06.
None of them led the team to a title.
Red Bulls leading scorer Juan Pablo Angel welcomed the arrival of Henry, which was announced only days after New York played a 0-0 draw with DC United.
“I think it’s all for the industry in this country,” said Angel. “It’s probably one of the best players of our generation.’s A player who has won everything they could win in this sport and is still in shape. I think it’s an honor to have you here. It will be a tremendous addition to the league , the Red Bulls. ”
There have been rumors for nearly two years that one day Henry to join the Red Bulls. One years ago, he said he wanted to play in the U.S. and recently opened the door when he left Barcelona after a season in which he lost his starting job.
“We’ve been hearing about it for years, so you can finally come to fruition is something good for the team,” said Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler. “I’m sure it’s good for him for the next step in his career. He has won championships at all levels. To come here and not be tested into the world of football, but having our team to the next level and look forward to a championship here will be a good step for him and, obviously, ideal for the organization. ”
Henry was not a factor in the World Cup. He was not good enough to start for a French team that was discredited and off the field.
However, the Red Bulls hope a combination of Angel and Henry up front, can ultimately lead to a diploma.
“It’s a little crazy to think about it,” said rookie defender Tim Ream. “Entering, I knew I was going to be playing with Juan Pablo and I knew what kind of player he was. You put the two together is pretty incredible. Frontal two, not much can say about them. They are just amazing players.”
AP Sports Rob Harris in London contributed to this report.
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