Henry and Cooper lead red-hot Red Bulls

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BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Three weeks ago, the New York Red Bulls had scored all of one goal through their first two fixtures. Homeland Security denied a work visa to their star striker Luke Rodgers, who was stuck in England with no hope of a return.  Though New York acquired Kenny Cooper from Portland in anticipation of such a scenario, they didn’t show outward confidence in  pairing the big American forward and Thierry Henry –  going so far as to start an out of form Juan Agudelo with the team captain over him for the season opener.

What a difference three games make.   

Henry and Cooper continued their dominant form, scoring a brace a piece for the second time in three games en route to New York’s first road victory of the season against the Columbus Crew by the score of 4-1.  This marks the Red Bull’s third consecutive victory after suffering two straight losses to start their campaign.  In that time frame, the team has collected thirteen goals while allowing only four against.  Twelve of those goals have come at the feet of their standout striking tandem.

“It’s a massive away win, once again scoring four goals and our strikers scoring all of them.  It’s phenomenal,” said Red Bull’s Coach Hans Backe. 

“We didn’t start the season the way any of us wanted to,” said Kenny Cooper.  “We went home, we got great results at home.  Maybe we came into this game with some good momentum and confidence.  It’s nice to get that first road victory.

“We were fortunate to get the early goal,” he continued, though luck had little to do with it.  Henry played a sublime service to Cooper in the box.  The striker chested the ball down, leaned on two defenders, turned on it and sent a low screamer towards the near post past keeper Andy Gruenebaum for the 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute of play.  “It was an incredible ball by Thierry.  I said it before, he can do everything. That’s all I can say. He scores goals, he creates them.  He doesn’t do a little of everything – he does a lot of everything.   He’s an exceptional player and again, he led by example today.

“I think any player in the world would love the opportunity to play alongside (Henry) and I feel very privileged to have had that opportunity during the season and preseason.  I don’t hide the fact he is a hero of mine and it’s a great privilege to train and play with him on a daily basis.”

Cooper’s second of the match came ten minutes later as he followed a deflected Dane Richards shotin the box and headed home a pin point strike with a lot of movement that curled past the outstretched keeper, giving New York the 2-0 lead.  

The goal would also place Cooper atop the MLS goal scoring leader board, if only for 27 minutes.  In the 40th, Roy Miller would put an end to that reign.  The Costa Rican defender sent Thierry Henry into space where he nailed a classic strike to the far post that Gruenebaum had no chance of stopping. 

New York took their 3-0 lead into the second half.  Columbus put on pressure throughout the final 45 minutes of the match, testing the Red Bulls, who were playing defensively.  When all seemed lost for the Crew, Chad Marshall finally broke through, finding a header that beat Ryan Meara late in the game thanks to a defensive miscue by Markus Holgersson.  An infuriated Henry would respond minutes later with a thunderous blast in extra time to round out the score at 4-1.

“I was pissed with the second half.  I think we should do better than that,” Henry said.  “You’re three nil away from home – why you scared?  Why the panic at times in the back?  Keep the ball.  We are three nil up – what more do you want?  I know you still have to work hard and it’s not easy to play against Columbus and we all know it, but we are three nil up and at times I thought at the back we could be more composed. 

“Now mainly, when you play a game like we played, the second half should be a tiny bit easier than what it was.  I am not scared to say it; they should have come back into the game.  If they put the ball into the back of the net, it could have been 3-3, so that’s why I was a bit pissed off when I put the ball into the back of the net because it should have been an easier second half. “

Nevertheless, the team captain saw improvement in the teams play.  “Less mistakes and putting the ball in the back of the net – that’s the difference if you want to win games.  Every time you have the chance, you have to try and capitalize on that one, especially away from home, and avoid mistakes.”

The Red Bull’s will be riding their red hot striking duo into battle this Saturday as they return to Red Bull Arena to face a lethal San Jose Earthquakes side.

Henry and Cooper have certainly turned heads this season.  Share your thoughts on the duo and the match below.

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29 Responses to Henry and Cooper lead red-hot Red Bulls

  1. AC says:

    I know too early to tell, but Cooper could possibly very well be playing his way back into US MNT contention. His first goal was really nice, where he held off the defender as the pass came in.

  2. Hutskizzle says:

    If Herculez can’t even get a phone call from Jurgen, I doubt Kenny is going to get called.

  3. The Dude says:

    That would be interesting if Cooper got back with the Nats. They could use a good finisher. I love how Henry is ALWAYS mad, even when they crush another team. The best always want more.

  4. Sam Houston says:

    Still only 27. If conner casey played a role in getting us to south africa i cant see why cooper cant fight for that right as well.

  5. 19691 says:

    The pairing is better than I could have ever imagined.
    Excited to see the top 3 scorers playing in a game together.

  6. 2tone says:

    Strikers in contention of being apart of the 23 man roster in May. Altidore, Wooten, Boyd, Gomez, Sapong, Wondo and Cooper. If I am going off of form playing for their Respective “first teams” I would say right now it would be these 4 as the strikers: Cooper, Gomez, Altidore, and Wooten. I don’t think Wondo is an international player. Yes he scores for San Jose, but I am just not convinced by him. But who knows I guess we will find out in a month.

  7. 2tone says:

    Oh and Klinsmann has already stated that Dempsey will be playing in the hole behind two strikers. So no need to bring him up in the striker pool.

  8. Matt says:

    They average 19,000 fans a game and score lots of goals.

    Can we just move the columbus crew yet? What a worthless fanbase.

  9. Dimidri says:

    How about you show some respect for the first team to have hard core supporter groups, the first team to get a local tv contract, the first team to hvae a Soccer-Specific Stadium, and the city who has given the US the best home field advantage against Mexico? There attendance isn’t great, but neither is Dallas, Chicago, New England, etc.’s-move all of those ‘worthless franchises’? Better yet, let’s move them only once they lose their only semi-marketable superstar, I bet their attendance will be really low then once the team has NOBODY to come out for on it!

  10. Isaac says:

    So does that mean we’re playing Donovan and Altidore up top with Dempsey right behind them? THAT’s an interesting lineup.

  11. GSScasual says:

    seriously all this nonsense regarding NYRBs fanbase is silly. We average near the top in attendance, with a history of failure.. Columbus has 3 Supporters sheild and a cup… yet they still pull in embarrassing numbers, but noone says A THING… NYRB has always come up short, yet they produce the best USMNT talent this country has seen. let the stigma pass and give credit where credit is due.

  12. Jim says:

    Who is the idiot in Portland who got rid of Kenny Cooper and kept Jorge Perlaza?

  13. Jya says:

    Call him up now and fire Bradley!

  14. matt says:

    hope your team is elimintated sooner than later. you cant bring 17k a game.

    Dallas is poor too. but at least they have an excuse of a stadium an hour away.

    NE is going to Boston and will average 18+, Chicago is a terrible team but still averages more than you. Your team is in the playoffs every year and wins titles and you still get only 11k at a game.

    Your team deserves to be flushed.

  15. A wise man once says:

    Wait, they produced Donovan and Dempsey?

  16. KokoDaGorillaWill-F-U-Up says:

    if the Hen Coop is a rocking, dont come a knocking. I dont see anyone taking them down. They might take themselves down a game or two, but I see them winning supporter’s shield.

  17. pd says:

    Come on now. Two hot games and all of the sudden he’s international level? Time will tell, but be patient.

  18. GSScasual says:

    No, Howard, Reyna, Mathis, Meola, Agudelo, Altidore,

  19. 2tone says:

    Why would you play Donovan up top. No more than likely it will be Gomez and Altidore up top.

  20. 2tone says:

    Uhm the NY RedBulls did not produce Reyna nor did they produce Mathis or Meola. Those players played for the club at one time, but they were not produced by the RedBulls.

  21. DL says:

    You’ve now posted in two separate comment sections about the Crew’s “horrible” fans. What is wrong with you? Did the Crew organization do something to your family?

    Get over it, move on, waste your time and energy on other issues, and stop littering this site with negativity. The Crew is one of the longstanding franchises in MLS and has been vital to the league. When the performance improves on the pitch, the numbers will return to Crew Stadium.

  22. kb says:

    NE is never going to Boston w/o the Patriots or the Krafts. Not now, not in 5 years, maybe in a decade. But they aren’t leaving Foxboro either.

    The league likes Columbus, the city likes the Crew and the Don even made it a point to come out in support of the FO. Crew aren’t getting moved anytime soon.

    Quit hating and support your own team and support the league, however ‘worthless’ you think 1/2 the teams are.

  23. Scott A says:

    Well nobody had academies back then so Metro did as much to produce players as anyone else did, and they produced some fantastic players. In addition, players like Howard, Altidore, Buddle, Meola, and Reyna are from and products of the North NJ/NYC area which the team represents.

  24. Joamiq says:

    Holgersson miscues are going to lead to goals all season long. This guy has no touch or composure on the ball. Makes me pine for Ream.

  25. KokoDaGorillaWill-F-U-Up says:

    quickest way to get rid of these teams is to up the payroll by another mil. c’mon monterrey and santos have payrolls in the 10-15 mil US dollars. I dont think anyone can justify 2.5mil payrolls when MLS now has favorable tv contracts and shirts deals for teams in the 1-4 mil range. Jesus, 3.5 million is still paltry, but at least ease up so mls teams can re-tool for next CCL. The only argument against 3.5mil payroll is that these other teams will go bellyup. So these 4 teams are holding back entire league from growing. CCL final should be MLS vs MLS, FMF vs FMF

  26. BubblesTheMonkeyfromNeverland says:

    haha. The Hen Coop. I like that

  27. Matt S says:

    Yes but it may have been some of Ream’s allocation money that was used to get Cooper so its a catch 22 I suppose.

  28. Johnny Ramone says:

    But SBI said RBNY got ripped off in the Cooper deal. How can he be doing so well??????????????????????