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The truth behind Mike Grella's goal in Columbus

The Ghost Hunting department has been busy...

Believe your eyes, Roy - he's real
Believe your eyes, Roy - he's real
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Did you see it? Did you see Mike Grella's game-winning goal against Columbus?

Yes, that Mike Grella: the occasionally magnificently bearded journeyman who had played for eight clubs since 2009 and fetched up at the New York Bulls because he needed a ninth and RBNY needed a replacement for Thierry Henry.

Except, of course, RBNY doesn't need a replacement for Thierry Henry. The Henry era was about making the best of having one of the best-ever players of the game. The post-Henry era is about making the best of having the players who are on the roster right now. Players like Mike Grella: who has been deployed in the captain's 2014 position - the left side of the "3" in a 4-2-3-1 - more often than not.

Coach Jesse Marsch says the team is the star. This is a prudent approach when your club just replaced an all-time great of the game one currently looking likely to be considered an all-time great of the game.

And, so far, it is working. Bradley Wright-Phillips has become a smooth-passing set-up man, Lloyd Sam is the team's most potent threat to score. Felipe Martins appears to play wherever the hell he feels like playing. The team has yet to lose, and this week, Mike Grella subbed in to the game to bring the sort of match-winning magic RBNY used to associate with #14.

The Red Bulls have only played three games to date, and they've yet to reach a level one might convincingly describe as "dominating" or "confident", but there was an eerily familiar touch of the former captain's magic in BWP's goal last week. And this week, Grella's deft chip from distance also brought memories of the man who illuminated RBNY's last four seasons (yes, he also played half of 2010, but he was a little rusty then).

But wait...Once A Metro's Ghost Hunting department, Lester Townsend and Rob Usry, have a hunch that there might be more to Grella's goal than simply a good player producing a very good goal.

The experience of watching BWP score 31 goals in 37 appearances was educational for RBNY fans. We thought that was a good player doing very good things, but the whip-smart soccer watchers who we trust to explain the game to us advised it was down to the "Henry Effect".

OaM's ghost hunters have reviewed the tape of Grella's goal. They know, as surely as it was obvious that BWP couldn't lead MLS in scoring in 2014 without Thierry Henry, that there's no way Mike Grella could magic up a shot like the one he landed in the Crew's net in Columbus without help from a higher power. Or, at least, the spectral intervention of a world-class player.

And they have the evidence:

Henry's Ghost, readers. He's still with us. And he's helping RBNY win in the manner to which he made its fans accustomed.