Thierry Henry’s MLS future is unknown. Regardless, the players of the New England Revolution have nothing but respect for one of soccer’s most talented individuals.
Heading into Saturday, there were questions about how Henry would perform on the artificial surface of Gillette Stadium. Since joining MLS in 2010, Henry has only played on turf on three occasions, all of which occurred in Portland. After last week’s loss in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final, Henry confirmed that he would make his Foxboro debut.
The Frenchman looked unaffected by Gillette Stadium’s surface as he contributed an assist on the night’s first goal while playing a full 90 minutes.
"Seeing him tonight on the turf, everyone talked about it but he didn’t miss a beat," head coach Jay Heaps said. "He was himself and created a lot of what they got."
Henry battled right back Andrew Farrell throughout the night in a rivalry with history. Last year, Henry pushed Farrell into goalkeeper Matt Reis which resulted in a multiple abrasions. As Farrell was being treated, the Red Bulls scored an equalizing goal.
Farrell is uncertain if he will face Henry again, but he does wish him the best of luck.
"It’s hard to contain someone of his caliber and his level," Farrell explained. "I think we did a good job throughout the two games. A lot of people in this locker room look up to Henry. Who knows what he’s going to do next. I want to say good luck to him in whatever he does next."
Although it was Farrell who often dueled with Henry, it was actually Jose Goncalves who swapped jerseys with the forward after the game. The Revolution captain confessed that the jersey is now a prized possession.
"When you win against player like Thierry Henry, who won everything you can win in soccer, it’s always great," Goncalves said. "I get his jersey. You never know if it’s his last game or not. I will not sell it, for sure, don’t ask me. But, yes, I did get his jersey and I wish him all the best."
Teal Bunbury, who joined MLS in the same year as Henry, also had nothing but nice things to say about the former Arsenal player.
"Henry is a legend," Bunbury complimented. "He makes thing happen, and we saw that today. He is one of the best of all time, and for me – probably the best. It was a pleasure playing against him."