NEW YORK — Thierry Henry understands what the MLS salary cap is all about, but that does not mean he agrees with it.
Talking to reporters at the Red Bulls’ Media Day earlier this week, Henry voiced his displeasure over the league’s salary cap and the restrictions it puts on teams when asked about how the club plans on replacing Kenny Cooper and the team-high 18 goals he scored in 2012.
“As you know here, with salary cap and all of that, that’s the only reason why he left. It wasn’t for a football reason,” said Henry. “It is annoying because you knew, I don’t know how he used to do it, but if the ball was going to hit three guys, the ball was going to land at his feet and he was going to put it into the back of the net.”
Cooper was indeed traded to FC Dallas earlier this month to help the Red Bulls make some space on the cap, but Henry believes measures should be taken by the league in the near future to help clubs keep their best players instead of shipping them out.
“If you’re in any other league in the world, you keep your good players. Not in this league,” said Henry. “That’s just the way it is and that’s why most of the time you see players [moving] and being traded. It is an American way of dealing with things, salary cap, draft, trade.
“In Europe, we don’t do that. In Europe, if you perform for your team, you’re sure of staying. But here it’s different and if you want to be compared to some of the big leagues in Europe, something has to be changed. I don’t know what, but something has to be changed.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com.