UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. (AP) - Thierry Henry practiced with the New York Red Bulls for the first time since signing with the MLS team earlier this week.
Henry and the Red Bulls went through a light training session on Friday at Montclair State University. While the 32-year-old wants to play in Saturday night’s MLS game at Columbus, the team is going to delay his debut until next week because he has not played since the World Cup almost three weeks ago.
Henry’s first game will be in an exhibition against English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night.
“You don’t even know how happy I am,” Henry said. “I was so happy to come here and finally get to see my teammates. Obviously in the past two days I’ve been doing a lot of stuff, the presentation, some (television) shows, but I came here to play so I was so in a rush to meet the guys.”
Henry said he will accompany the team to Columbus.
Fellow striker Juan Pablo Angel said Henry has a lot of things to do before playing. He needs to adjust to life in the New York metropolitan area and to find a place to live. The final step is getting back into shape.
“I will say that he’s arguably one of the best players in our generation, his pedigree is second to none,” Angel said. “I would probably say that he could be the best player on the field this league has ever had.”
Veteran defender Mike Petke was impressed with Henry.
“He has a certain responsibility and he knows that,” Petke said. “But just hearing him talk, it’s obvious he wants to play and win, he’s very competitive, it’s great.”