The Road to 45: Thierry Henry's landmark goals for New York Red Bulls

We were watching, Titi, don't you worry. - Jim McIsaac

Forty-five career goals may not be a great many, even for MLS teams, but it is for RBNY - second most of all time, in fact. So it's time to embrace our history and allow a little celebration of Thierry Henry.

Thierry Henry scored a landmark goal last week: his third of the season, against Houston in RBNY's 4-0 win at the Arena, was also his 45th for the team in all competitions. He scored more than five times that many for Arsenal (228 in all competitions), so don't expect any celebration from the man himself.

And 45 goals is not particularly close to the New York Red Bulls all-time scoring record: Juan Pablo Angel bagged 62 in 112 competitive appearances.

But Henry has officially got closer to JPA's record than anyone who has ever played competitively for New York's MLS club. Well...him and Clint Mathis, with whom Titi is currently tied in second place on the all-time scoring charts.

Such an achievement may not be worth a statue outside the Arena, or even any official recognition from the club, but it is surely worth a mention on a website dedicated to the activities of the New York Red Bulls.

So here is a quick glance at some of the goals that got #14 to #45. Not necessarily his best, just the milestones along the way to where he is now. (With thanks, as always, to metrofanatic.com's indispensable statistics archive)

Goal #1: vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8/28/10 (RBNY 2-0 Quakes)

Yes, Titi's first goal in a RBNY shirt was scored in a July friendly against Tottenham Hotspur. But that was not a competitive match, and the goal was of no significance to his current tally.

Henry started his accumulation of meaningful goals for RBNY on August 28th, 2010 - against San Jose, courtesy of a Dane Richards cross and a simple touch to create room for himself to thwack a half-volley past Jon Busch.


Goal #10: @ Portland Timbers, 6/19/11 (Portland 3-3 RBNY)

Henry's tenth goal for the Red Bulls came in a helter-skelter league match in Portland. It was perhaps Austin da Luz's best game for RBNY - he scored one and set up Henry's goal. (If you're wondering what happened to da Luz: he's with Orlando City at the moment, with a shot at getting back to MLS when OCSC joins the league next season.)

This match was also Henry's first red card in MLS - he tapped Adam Moffat on the head in act of impertinence rather than violence, but learned the hard way about the unpredictable nature of refereeing in this league.

So there are plenty of reasons to remember this game, but in this context, it is simply another milestone on Henry's journey to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Clint Mathis on the RBNY scoring chart.


Goal #20: vs. Montreal Impact, 3/31/12 (RBNY 5-2 Montreal)

We're in Titi's third season as a Red Bull now. He spent the off-season on loan with his beloved Arsenal, and returned a man rejuvenated. RBNY got off to a slow start - two consecutive road losses - but in the match preceding this one, Henry and Kenny Cooper each bagged two goals, kick-starting a nine-goals-in-six-games scoring streak that is still Titi's most prolific stretch as a Red Bull.

Three of the goals in that run came against Montreal on March 31 - and we wouldn't see a Red Bull score a hat-trick at the Arena again until Bradley Wright-Phillips delivered his against Houston last week.

The first of the three was a collector's item. No, not because it was from Henry's head - he gets those from time to time; not even because it was his 20th goal for RBNY; it was special because it was created by Rafa Marquez, and we didn't have much cause to celebrate Rafa's work during his last year as a Red Bull.


Goal #30: vs. Columbus Crew, 9/15/12 (RBNY 3-1 Columbus)

This one was special, destined to be forever part of the highlight reel of Henry's time in New York, regardless of what else he does between now and whenever he decides it's time to move on.

The second of two goals he scored in the match, direct from a corner. And a goal celebration intended to convey one message: yes, he meant to do it.


Goal #40: @ Houston Dynamo, 9/8/13 (Houston 1-4 RBNY)

This one was a long time coming - a week shy of a year since his magnificent 30th goal for RBNY, and nearly two months since he scored #39 against Montreal - Henry notched the go-ahead goal in a win over Houston that was the second of six wins out of the last eight games of the 2013 season: the run which ultimately delivered the Supporters' Shield to New York.

It wasn't a spectacular goal. BWP knocked the ball down for Henry to collect, he ran at Houston's defense, and the defense basically ran away from him. The greater significance, with respect to the 2014 season: this was the first occasion we saw the Titi-BWP partnership bear fruit.


Goal #45: vs Houston Dynamo, 4/23/14 (RBNY 4-0 Houston)

It would seem Titi enjoys the combination of playing alongside BWP and against Houston when there is a milestone goal to be scored. Goal #45 was a little easier than goal #40, and Wright-Phillips was hoping his cross would connect with Peguy Luyindula - but the outcome was a goal for Henry and another three points against Houston.



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