HARRISON, N.J. – Sitting in his locker room at Red Bull Arena about an hour after his New York Red Bulls defeated the Montreal Impact, Thierry Henry expressed satisfaction with his game-winning goal but not for the reason that anyone who saw it might think.
Henry added to his collection of highlight-reel finishes late in Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over the Impact, scoring on a gorgeous bicycle kick that gave the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead, but ultimately proved to be the decider. The 88th-minute strike was a mesmerizing moment that brought the stadium to its feet, but afterwards the only points Henry was interested in talking about were not ones of the style variety.
“[The kind of goal] is not the most important thing to me,” Henry, who also scored the opener in the match just before halftime, told reporters. “What I knew we had to do was score a second goal because we didn’t look like we could keep a 1-0 advantage. That’s why for me that goal is important because it was an important goal, after all, not how I scored it. I’ll go back home tonight thinking how we can play better until the end.”
OPTA Chalkboard: Henry makes it all happen for New York going forward
The Red Bulls did allow Montreal to give them a late scare. Substitute forward Marco Di Vaio caught New York napping after Henry’s brilliant finish and scored a goal of his own before his late chance for an equalizer in stoppage time was whistled for an offside position after hitting both posts.
New York, however, hung on for the fifth win in their last six games and a good portion of the postgame talk in the locker room was understandably about Henry’s dazzling winner.
“The second goal is pretty special,” said Tim Cahill. “In fairness, the way he took it, it was class and that’s what you need.”
CHECK OUT THE FULL LINEUPS AND BOX SCORE
“That’s why he is on the field,” added head coach Mike Petke. “He still has all that quality and it just takes a moment of magic from him and he had two tonight and that’s why he’s on the field.”
As great as the goal was, don't expect the Red Bulls captain to be thinking about it for more than what it was to him: a way to pick up three more points.
"It was a good goal, don't get me wrong, but at the end of the day we had to score a goal," said Henry. "It was not about how we scored. We needed a goal. ... I've had the opportunity to score some good goals in my career but you kind of think about it at the end of you career, not right now."
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.