The crowd began to chant Thierry Henry’s name in the 76th minute
after the Red Bulls’ forward made a bicycle kick for a shot that
was just wide.
Five minutes later, the fans weren’t just cheering for Henry’s
skill, but for the goal that broke a tie and gave Mike Petke his
victory triumph as the team’s head coach, a 2-1 decision over the
Philadelphia Union on Saturday before 15,824 at Red Bull Arena.
”We needed to win,” said Henry, who netted his first goal of
the season. ”We tried to knock on the door and score a goal. Dax
(McCarty) scored a great goal. To get three points from a team in
our division was important.”
Henry finished a beautiful feed from Peguy Luyindula to win it
for the Red Bulls (1-2-2). Heath Pearce started the play when he
sent a pass forward for Luyindula, who controlled the ball at the
top corner of the penalty area before chipping a pass into the
middle. Henry softened the flight of the ball with his right knee
before sending a left-footed shot into the goal from 10 yards.
”I played with (Luyindula) on the under-21 team,” Henry said.
”You will see, I hope, a lot of passes from him like that, and a
lot of goals. Once he finds his rhythm and learns his teammates,
he’ll be better.”
His left knee still sore, Henry came on for Tim Cahill in the
”I’m not 100 percent,” Henry said. ”That’s why we agreed that
I wouldn’t start. The plan was to give 20 minutes and do my
McCarty’s goal in the 55th minute snapped a scoreless string of
307 minutes for the Red Bulls and staked New York to a 1-0 lead.
But Philadelphia (2-2-0) tied it in the 63d minute when Casey Conor
headed in a throw-in by Sheanon Williams that beat goalkeeper Luis
Robles at the near post. Conor scored 1:35 after he entered the
Juninho started the play that led to McCarty’s goal with a
corner kick. The ball bounced back to the Red Bull midfielder, who
pushed the ball to Jonathan Steele. Steele knocked the ball into
the middle of the box, where McCarty ran toward it and redirected
it behind him with his right foot. The shot hit the right post and
bounced in past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
”I think I have a case of little-man complex, I’m 5-8, but I
think I’m 6-4 and I always want to be in the box,” McCarty said.
”The spin was really weird. I stuck my foot in there and we were
due for a little bit of a fortunate bounce. For the past few games
it felt like there was a wall behind the goalkeeper. I just tried
to get my foot on it. The plan was to put it somewhere in the area
and it worked. It felt good to get three points. A big weight
lifted off our shoulders.”
Henry fired up the crowd when he and Luyindula set up a chance
in the 76th minute. Luyindula headed the ball to Henry in the box
and the forward leaped up to strike a bicycle kick that sailed
wide. That prompted the crowd to chant ”Hen-ry! Hen-ry!”