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It’s really, really hard to win an MLS Championship, says Thierry Henry

Mar 7, 2013, 4:13 PM EDT

MLS All Star Game Soccer

Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls are championshipless, a fact they are reminded of on a nearly daily basis it seems. But the French star wants everyone to know that it’s not easy taking home MLS Cup, especially compared to picking up silverware in Europe.

“It’s harder. Way harder,” he told SI’s Grant Wahl in a magazine piece in this week’s issue. “[In Europe] I didn’t have to tell [ex-Arsenal and France teammates] Robert Pires or Patrick Viera what to do, so I was concentrating on what I had to do. I’m not having a go at anyone; I’m just saying that it’s easier to have guys who know exactly what it takes.”

(Which, frankly, sounds exactly like he’s having a go at everyone on his team, but anyway.)

Henry isn’t wrong, mostly due to the parity and the playoffs, two things that make MLS unique and special and fun when compared to the rest of the top-heavy leagues around the world. That said, the Red Bulls are well-funded and packed with some of the best talent in MLS. They should have done better in the playoffs, and Henry sounds like he knows. This is New York, baby; championships are expected.

The forward sounds increasingly frustrated. He went off when Kenny Cooper was shipped out and continued along the same theme when he talked to MLS Soccer’s Nick Firchau:

Don’t get me wrong: An angry, outspoken Henry is a fun Henry for the fans, as long as he can transform that frustration into production. But if the Red Bulls season starts to go sideways — you know, if they blow any two-goal leads and what not — it’s going to be interesting to watch the mercurial Frenchman respond. That locker room could get mighty small in a hurry.

  1. nygiantstones - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Good interview but could have done without the soft core porn music in the background.

  2. Dan Haug - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    I don’t know, Thiery… The Galaxy don’t seem to be having any trouble collecting hardware.

    Seriously… NYRB have been a soft team ever since they came into existence. They’ve tried to take short-cuts, buy big-name players, and play exciting, pretty soccer, but they have never come together as a team. They are very much like the Galaxy were in the pre-Arena Beckham era.

    I think hiring Petke might be a step in the right direction, but they were stupid not to keep on Arena and at least give him the time to try to implement a system. At this point, Henry is really just making it worse by belittleing his teamates.

  3. zava55 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Why would Rafa Marquez…. I’m sorry, I meant to say Why would Henry make such comments about his teammates? Good thing he isn’t Mexican because he would have so much hate thrown at him (which also used to be exciting news when Rafa was around).
    NYRB has not been a team. No DP can carry a team alone.

    • archlobster - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      People don’t bag on Rafa because he’s Mexican, they bagged on him for being a giant bag of musty, old douche.

      • mvktr2 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:55 AM


        Blanco wasn’t bagged on, Bravo was for much of the same reasons as Marquez … the dude was trash in both attitude and effort.

  4. ydj1120 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    “This is New York, baby”

    Actually, Noah, it’s not. I’m pretty sure that when I get off the PATH I am in Harrison, New Jersey.

    • marcia - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      I was born in Brooklyn, NY and they were the NY/NJ MetroStars 25 years later I moved to NJ and they became the NY Red Bulls and Petke’s back as The Manager? We are all getting REAL OLD!

  5. gillyrosh - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I really, REALLY wish this man would eat several helpings of STFU.

  6. mvktr2 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    I didn’t hear him having a go at anyone. He’s clearly saying it’s on the team and specifically says Dax, x-y-z are all as important as me. As for his comments that some former player knew exactly what to do that could simply be his take on the quicker development of euro/s. am players vs US players which is generally a fact. US players tend to blossom 2-4 years later than their counterparts around the world. MLS’s attempts to address the development gap at the U20 & U23 level via the USL Pro agreement should help lower that fact by at least half.

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