Red Bull-apalooza

The Red Bulls responded to the big Thierry Henry signing with their worst performance in weeks, an utterly listless 2-0 road loss to Columbus this past Saturday night.

About an hour into the broadcast of the DOA contest, MSG commentator and former Cosmos keeper Shep Messing said, “the most exciting part of this game so far was that [pregame] shot we had of Thierry Henry getting out of the yellow cab. I liked that one. It wasn’t in Hollywood, he was in Columbus, Ohio, in the yellow cab.”

Messing’s broadcast partner, Steve Cangelosi, quickly changed the subject, while stifling a giggle, knowing Messing had a point: This game was a poor advertisement for both the Red Bulls and the league, and the new marquee signing, who did indeed arrive at Crew Stadium by standard-issue yellow cab, could not have been impressed. He took no-frills transportation to a no-frills stadium in the middle of Ohio (no offense, Buckeyes) and watched a pretty pedestrian game—one in which the Red Bulls looked shockingly uninterested, despite the fact that first place in the East was at stake.

But no matter! That was just one game, and things are looking up in Red Bull-ville. Let’s wash away that mental image of Henry traveling by yellow cab, with this footage, shot by the Backpost A/V team, of Henry making a more accustomed entrance, to his new home, Red Bull Arena:

Note how he shakes the hands of the Red Bull Arena employees on either side of the door, and his overall silky demeanor. Sade’s “Smooth Operator” should be playing him in.

His new teammates should be inspired by his presence, and we expect them to lift their games accordingly. Henry has had multiple training sessions with the team, even bringing along his NBA-star pal, Steve Nash, for one. Check it out:

What’s an NBA player doing at a professional soccer team’s training session, you might rightfully ask. Well, Nash can genuinely play, as has been documented in the past, and he’s not just a passionate fan, but is also part of the ownership group for the Vancouver Whitecaps franchise that will join MLS next season. So it’s not entirely inappropriate for him to be there, and who knows, maybe his presence inspired the players as well. Based on the Columbus game, they certainly could use a boost. 

Henry will play in a friendly against Tottenham tomorrow, and make his MLS debut on July 31st in Houston.

Now, not to bury the lede, but the Red Bulls reportedly have another D.P. on the verge of joining the team, and Soccer America‘s Paul Gardner came out this morning saying it was Rafael Marquez, and that the deal was all but done. Marquez’s arrival has been rumored for days (his countryman Nery Castillo just signed with the Chicago Fire), so perhaps we’ll be getting some official word soon.

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