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Thierry Henry blasts Red Bulls defending, wants better tonight

Aug 10, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

MLS All Star Game Soccer

Thierry Henry must be using some kind of obscure French math. Because I went back and looked at last week’s New York-Houston match, and Dynamo man Mac Kandji never got past 1,000 by my count on his symphony of step-overs last week.

Henry, the New York Red Bulls fabulous forward, was wholly unimpressed with the way his team acquiesced so early last week on the defensive end. Of particular interest was Kandji, who did tend to bedevil the Red Bulls, working the Houston Dynamo left side with a confident flair.

That clearly did not sit well with Henry, who took some French umbrage over all the time Kandji was permitted to dally on the ball – including one uncontested serve that turned into Calen Carr’s first-half goal.

The time he had on the ball, if you have a bit of talent, again, I’m not attacking anybody, but watch how he was getting the ball. Chesting it, going, 20,000 step-overs, on the spot, nobody smashed him once, like he was playing against his friends.

You can’t let him control the ball on his chest, step on it, look if someone was in the stand, take a coffee, turn, call his family, no one was answering, he left a message and then say, ‘Oh, I might cross the ball.’ He crossed it and they scored. You can’t win a game when you play like that. I’m not attacking anyone, but that was just a fact.”

Presumably, Kandji won’t have the same leisurely evening tonight as the Red Bulls face Houston for a second consecutive Friday. (Quirky, eh?)

The Red Bulls have been somewhere between unremarkable and downright terrible on the road this year, with a 4-7-2 record and a minus-8 goal difference.

But Hans Backe’s team has been nothing short of a point-collecting team in Harrison this year, 7-0-3 and plus-12.

Tonight’s match is on NBC Sports Network; coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET.

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