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Thierry Henry is New York Red Bulls' all-time, all-competitions, single-season assists record-holder

The captain has left the building. But he did leave a few records behind for us to remember him by...

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 season was Thierry Henry's peak year as a creator for the New York Red Bulls. Finally, at the fifth attempt, the club found the best way to optimize the captain's talents up front: don't play him up front.

By the end of the year, Henry was an attacking midfielder, floating between a wide left and central attacking position, always tucked underneath the team's lone forward, Bradley Wright-Phillips.

RBNY didn't win anything this season, but that arguably had more to do with the team's rickety defense than its attack. BWP set a new club record for goals in a single season (31 in all competitions); Henry followed with a club record for assists (19 in all competitions).

Personal records never seemed to mean a great deal to the captain during his tenure with the Red Bulls. He wanted to bring the team trophies, not pad his statistical legacy. Nonetheless, those personal records happened. And they are worthy of acknowledgement.

The captain's 19-assist season was a new statistical high for the Red Bulls. Here's how he did it...

Assist 1: vs. Houston Dynamo

Result: WIN 4-0

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Kosuke Kimura)

Time: 12'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Seven games and 12 minutes of RBNY's 2014 regular season passed before Henry got the creative side of his game conclusively firing. The captain started his march to 19 assists for the year with a cross into the six-yard box for Bradley Wright-Phillips to tap in.

Kosuke Kimura and Dax McCarty were the unsung heroes of the play: the latter for keeping possession alive with a one-touch pass out of traffic after Lloyd Sam appeared to have asked too much of his teammate by sending the ball a into a converging trio of Dynamo defenders; the former for quickly responding to Henry's instruction to play a pass down the line, weighting his through-ball perfectly so all Henry had to do was look up and effectively try to thread a free kick into the space BWP was moving toward.

Assist 2: vs. Houston Dynamo

Result: WIN 4-0

SECONDARY assist (primary assist: Roy Miller)

Time: 24' Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Second assist of the season for Henry, second one providing a goal for BWP. Sort of.

Secondary assists are a part of MLS's statistical record-keeping, and the approach is relatively consistent, so this is not the forum to start railing against the legitimacy of concept. Still, this goal is arguably the most fortunate assist Henry was credited with all season.

This strike owed something to BWP's off-the-ball movement (you won't find many better examples of his ability to bamboozle defenders by recognizing when he's out of their line of sight and able to focus his run entirely on meeting the ball), and everything to Roy Miller.

He creates the turnover outside RBNY's penalty to start the counter-attack, then salvages Henry's pass from being intercepted at the other end of the pitch, before locking eyes with BWP and guiding the ball to exactly where the striker wanted it.

Assist 3: @ FC Dallas

Result: WIN 1-0

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Dax McCarty)

Time 71'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Third assist of the year, third to BWP, and no question this one was all down to the captain.

McCarty's pass out of midfield sets Henry free on a run behind the defense. He hasn't quite shaken off his marker, and he doesn't seem to have the best angle for a shot. Still, the move foreshadows a similar moment during RBNY's playoff run - when the Henry lobbed the back line for Peguy Luyindula to score.

On that occasion, Luyindula took the shot without hesitation; on this occasion, the captain opts to pass behind the last defender, allowing BWP to sweep in and pick his spot. When you hear talk about Henry's selfishness as a player for RBNY, consider this goal before reaching your own conclusion.

Assist 4: vs. Chicago Fire

Result: LOSS 4-5

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 39'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

It's getting a little silly now. Henry's fourth assist is to the guy who has knocked in all his other goal-creating passes up to this point in the season: BWP. A run from the halfway line into the penalty area concludes with a one-touch, Wright-Phillips volley past Sean Johnson.

If the captain were the guy-no-one-bothered-to-learn-much-about-before-he-signed and the striker was the all-time great of the game, the stories would all have been about RBNY's dependence on its world-class finisher (this was BWP's seventh goal of the season). Instead, we got the "Henry effect".

Neither simplification does justice to what was, with hindsight, perhaps the most productive attacking tandem the Red Bulls have ever managed to put on the field.

Assist 5: @ Sporting Kansas City

Result: DRAW 1-1

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 50'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Henry takes the ball out of his own half, runs into pretty much the entire Sporting KC defense, looks up, spots his man, and dinks a through-ball into space for - who else? - BWP to do the rest.

Five assists for the captain's season so far, all to BWP. Credit Ruben Bover for recognizing he was third wheel in this love affair and checking his run to ensure Henry's pass connected with its intended target.

Assist 6: vs. Toronto FC

Result: DRAW 2-2

SECONDARY assist (primary assist: Ambroise Oyongo)

Time: 36'  Scored by: Peguy Luyindula

Finally: an assist to someone other than BWP. Henry gets the credit for opening up the defense with pass to the left flank. Whether by accident or design, BWP plays a role: pulling defenders toward him but letting the ball pass.

It's a neat dummy by the striker and a smart pass by the captain, but the hard work is done by Oyongo and Luyindula.

Assist 7: vs. Columbus Crew

Result: WIN 4-1

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Eric Alexander)

Time: 17'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Back to the old habits. A one-two with Eric Alexander sends Henry into the box to flick a cross to the top of the six-yard box. BWP duly connects to register his 15th goal of the season.

Assist 8: vs. Columbus Crew

Result: WIN 4-1

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 56'  Scored by: Lloyd Sam

This game against Columbus was one of those the captain simply dominated: he had a hand in all four goals RBNY scored. Having set up BWP for the opener, and scored one himself (off the rebound of a shot by - you guessed it - Wright-Phillips), Henry returned to play provider for the Red Bulls' third.

It wasn't a bad idea for the Crew's defense to rush to cover BWP with the captain on the ball. Wright-Phillips wasn't just the team's top scorer, he appeared to be the only player Henry was interested in creating for: six of the captain's seven assists at this point in the year had been goals for BWP.

But too much space opened up in the box as Henry took the ball down the right side of the field and BWP took the defense toward the left. A simple pass into that space for Lloyd Sam to collect and fire past Steve Clark brought assist number eight of the captain's season.

Assist 9: vs. Columbus Crew

Result: WIN 4-1

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 90' + '1  Scored by: Eric Alexander

Henry's first assist of the season that owed absolutely nothing to BWP, who had been substituted about 10 minutes earlier.

The captain puts the final touch on a counter-attack, one-touching Lloyd Sam's pass beyond the last defender, and leaving Eric Alexander one-on-one with the 'keeper.

This was Henry's 37th all-time MLS regular-season assist for RBNY: the one that broke Amado Guevara's club record.

Assist 10: @ Philadelphia Union

Result: LOSS 3-1

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Ambroise Oyongo)

Time: 60'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

The love affair continued with this quick pass to BWP at the top of the penalty area.

The captain's confidence in his striker is illustrated by his movement after the pass: there is none. Henry simply stands and watches his teammate do what he'd done 15 times already up to this point in the season: take aim and hit the net.

This was the 40th assist of Thierry Henry's RBNY career - the one that took him past Amado Guevara and Tab Ramos as the club's all-time, all-competitions record holder for goals created.

Assist 11: vs. Montreal Impact

Result: WIN 4-2

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 74'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

The 2014 season contained some of Henry's best work for RBNY: the 4-0 drubbing of Houston Dynamo in which he set up two goals for BWP, scored one, and the handed a penalty to Wright-Phillips for the striker to complete his first hat-trick of the season; the 4-1 trouncing of Columbus Crew in which he set up three and bagged one for himself; and this game.

The captain scored twice and set up this goal for his usual target in a 20-odd minute spell during the second half that took the game away from Montreal.

This goal brought BWP level with Juan Pablo Angel's RBNY single-season scoring record for the regular season. Fitting that it should have been provided by his captain, now so confident in his teammate that he simply watched his pass run into Wright-Phillips's path, and celebrated the seemingly-inevitable goal with arms raised as he turned to walk back to the halfway line for the restart.

Assist 12: vs. D.C. United

Result: WIN 1-0

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Jamison Olave)

Time: 90'  Scored by: Lloyd Sam

Quite possibly the least-intended assist of Henry's season.

The Red Bulls were heading into stoppage time against DC in all-out desperation to win a game they had dominated without scoring. Saer Sene played yet another long ball forward to Henry, playing with his back to goal. The captain's touch wasn't great. As he scrambled to regain possession, Jamison Olave (playing as an auxiliary center forward in the quest for a goal) beat him to it.

Only Olave can say for sure what he was trying to do once he had the ball. He either played a short pass to Henry too hard, or a longer pass to Lloyd Sam too wildly. The result: Henry, trying to get something on a ball booted at his thigh, inadvertently glances it past the defense for Sam to run onto for the match-winning goal.

Assist 13: vs. Seattle Sounders

Result: WIN 4-1

SECONDARY assist (primary assist: Roy Miller)

Time: 56'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

One of the under-rated pleasures of the Red Bulls' Henry era has been watching the captain combine with Roy Miller down the left hand side of the pitch. Part of the reason it was under-rated is that it didn't result in goals all that often, often due to Miller's propensity to over-complicate matters with one touch (only occasionally a back heel) too many.

But when Miller keeps it simple, he's among the most effective attacking full backs in the league. This goal is all about the left back's early cross - perfectly timed and weighted for BWP to run onto - abetted by a one-two with his captain to create the space needed to spot the forward's run and make the pass without worrying too much about defenders pressing for the ball.

Assist 14: vs. Toronto FC

Result: WIN 3-1

SECONDARY assist (primary assist: Kosuke Kimura)

Time: 26'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

All told, 10 of Henry's regular-season assists were in the service of feeding BWP. Three of those were secondary assists, including this: the captain's last of team's league campaign, and the one which gave him a share of the club's single-season, regular-season assist record (set by Eduardo Hurtado in 1998).

The scoring sequence echoed Henry's first assist of the 2014 season, when the captain had run onto to a through-ball provided by Kosuke Kimura to send a cross into the six-yard box for BWP to tap in. This goal followed the same pattern, but this time Henry split the defense, and Kimura found Wright-Phillips on the doorstep.

Assist 15: vs. Sporting Kansas City

Result: WIN 2-1

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Peguy Luyindula)

Time: 77'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Henry led RBNY into the playoffs as the team's all-time, all-competitions assist leader, and the joint-holder of the club's single-season, regular-season assist record. He wasn't done creating.

This set-up - a quick cut back to BWP for the equalizer in the Red Bull's win-or-go-home post-season opener - was the 45th assist of his RBNY career.

Assist 16: vs. D.C. United

Result: WIN 2-0

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Lloyd Sam)

Time: 40'  Scored by: Bradley Wright-Phillips

The one that brought Henry level with two club records: Clint Mathis's for single-season assists in all competitions(16) and Adolfo Valencia's for career assists in the playoffs (four - RBNY post-season records, as one might expect, are particularly modest).

It is also an assist destined for every highlight reel that will ever be made about Henry's time in New York: the back-heel.

The captain almost deserves two assists for this sequence: his run into space vacated by preoccupied defenders is the move that opens up the opportunity to score. Once he has the ball, Henry knows there is at least one teammate behind him, and the back-heel is simply the quickest way to take advantage of numbers in the box before the defense has a chance to reset. Credit Peguy Luyindula for having the presence of mind to step out of the way and let the open man take a shot at goal.

It was the captain's 12th assist to BWP, for whom it was the 30th goal of his club record-breaking scoring season.

Assist 17: vs. D.C. United

Result: WIN 2-0

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 73'  Scored by: Peguy Luyindula

With one pass to Luyindula, the captain became the club's single-season record holder for assists, its record holder for career assists in the playoffs, and he tied Adolfo Valencia's team record for single-season assists in the post-season (three).

Assist 18: @ D.C. United

Result: LOSS 2-1

PRIMARY assist (secondary assist: Bradley Wright-Phillips)

Time: 57'  Scored by: Peguy Luyindula

The match might have been lost, but the Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series was won by this goal, set up by another BWP-Henry combination that gave the captain space to do the sort of thing he'd been doing all season: finding a way to get the ball into the six yard box. Luyindula converted.

And Henry set a new club record for single-season playoff assists.

Assist 19: @ New England Revolution

Result: DRAW 2-2

PRIMARY assist (no secondary)

Time: 26'  Scored by: Tim Cahill

The only time Henry fed Cahill all season. It was the captain's 19th assist of the year, his seventh all-time in the playoffs, and fifth of the 2014 post-season - all club records.

It was the goal that established RBNY's belief that it could get out of the hole dug by losing the home leg of its Eastern Conference final. It didn't happen.

We know what happened next: the captain departed RBNY and MLS with a cluster of club records, a Supporters' Shield, a sense that the luck was never conclusively in his team's favor in the playoffs, and one magnificent post-game interview.

Thank you, Titi.