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Thierry Henry to extend stay at Red Bull Arena past 2014? Hmmm … don’t bet on it

Dec 10, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT

Former Arsenal player Thierry Henry watches the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers at the Emirates Stadium in London

So the New York Red Bulls’ top organizational man says he may want Thierry Henry to consider another year after his current deal expires, eh? One more year past 2014?

Well, why stop there? Henry will only be 38 after the 2015 season! The rolls are full of men who have played on into their late 30s and even 40s. Most of them are goalkeepers … but details, details!

Look, what is New York sporting director Andy Roxburgh supposed to say?

To keep the high maintenance Frenchman happy, to keep the peace among supporters and to keep the sponsors happy, the club has no choice but to put a smiley face on any queries involving Henry’s longevity and relevance.

Henry is under contract through 2014. He wasn’t always effective in 2013, although the fabulous Frenchman can certainly still manufacture the memorable moment, can’t he?

Here’s what Roxburgh told reporters Tuesday (from a story at

This is the last year [2014] of this particular contract, but there’s no reason why he couldn’t extend it. Right now, I don’t think he’s thinking like that because when I sat down with him when the season finished, I just asked him straight, ‘So you’re playing next season,’ [and he said] immediately as soon as I asked, ‘Yes.’ ”

“He said, ‘I’m very optimistic about the way things are going and I want to be involved in it.’ That was enough. If he comes away with the same reaction next year, who knows?”

Again, what is he supposed to say here?

Henry doesn’t play on artificial turf, which will be increasingly problematic as his effectiveness declines. His goal total has already dropped, measurably so this year despite playing more games than the previously two seasons.

Henry will play in 2014 – but those ongoing heel issues aren’t going to improve. That signature burst of speed (admittedly still there in 2013) isn’t going to be last forever.

If Henry is playing in 2015, I will be shocked.

In fact, I’ll be a bit surprised if the Red Bulls actually want him to perform in 2015 – not when they’ll need a seriously splashy signing to compete with Major League Soccer’s the other club from New York, NYCFC.

  1. hildezero - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Exactly. What is Henry suppose to say when you ask him that? Why even do that in the first place? Both him and the sporting director know he has one year left in his contract. Nuff said. Henry is a smart guy, so of course he’s gonna play out his entire contract, but I don’t think he’ll extend his contract to one more year.

  2. Daniel Pecoraro - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    I think the one thing that might be alluring to bring Henry back for 2015 is the possibility of finishing whatever the team starts in CONCACAF Champions League in the fall. Since group play will have RBNY facing largely minnows (though deceptively powerful ones, it shouldn’t be forgotten!), they would not play the larger Mexican teams until spring 2015. Perhaps Henry would want to keep playing if only for those matches and the possibility of winning another major club title. The impending New York derby might also have an effect on his thinking, as well.

    Ultimately though I think Henry’s going to stick to his word and call it quits after 2014.

  3. - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Henry is done. Would be better off to get his salary of the book and get themselves a new younger player.

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