Henry to meet former club Arsenal as Red Bulls host July friendly

Thierry Henry of New York Red Bulls goes close with a free kick

Photo by Back Page Images/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Thierry Henry will have himself a special day this July.

The New York Red Bulls announced on Thursday that they will host Henry’s former club Arsenal in a friendly at Red Bull Arena on July 26. The match is scheduled for a 5pm kickoff, and will see Henry face the club where he had some of the best years of his legendary career and scored a record 226 goals in all competitions.

“It goes without saying that hosting Arsenal at Red Bull Arena will be a special moment for me both on a professional and personal level,” said Henry in a statement. “As I have said before, the club is in my heart and this will be another terrific chapter in my relationship with Arsenal Football Club. Along with my teammates, I am excited to host Arsenal in New York – one of the greatest cities in the world – and hope that Red Bulls and Arsenal fans will be able to enjoy the match.”

The friendly vs. Henry and the Red Bulls will be Arsenal’s only game in its preseason visit to the United States. The Gunners last visited the U.S. for an exhibition match in 1989, when they took on Argentine club Independiente in Miami, Florida.

It will also be the Premiership club’s second meeting with New York in three years. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw at the 2011 Emirates Cup, which Henry and the Red Bulls won.

“This will be a great chance to play in front of supporters who have not seen the team play before,” said Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger in the same statement. “The New York Red Bulls will be midway through their season, so they will provide a good test. Obviously it will be good to play against Thierry. He is a very special player in our club’s history and I know my players and the supporters will enjoy this very much.”

The 36-year-old Henry is currently in the last year of his deal with the Red Bulls and this match could be seen by some as a sendoff of sorts, as he has not yet indicated whether he plans to continue his career or retire after 2014.

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What do you think of the Red Bulls hosting Arsenal? Expecting Henry to have a big match? Planning on attending? Do you see it as part of a plan from the Red Bulls to try and keep Henry for another year?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to Henry to meet former club Arsenal as Red Bulls host July friendly

  1. DCGooner says:

    These tickets are gonna be hard to come by, need one or I may die…

  2. Dimidri says:

    So let’s say that the Red Bulls advance out of the group stage of the CCL this season, and the Red Bulls have 2 new, younger DPs they want to bring in plus Thierry wants to hang up the boots (also assuming no new CBA things).

    But let’s say that Henry wants to win one more trophy with New York, and is willing to stick around through May potentially. Could he play only in the CCL as a 4th DP? Obviously it’s questionable whether this would be good after the first 2 legs since he wouldn’t be playing really, and it could mess with their preseason, but, hypothetically, MLS rules would not prevent that, right, even against other MLS teams in the CCL?

  3. Tony says:

    Chance to see Gedion Zelalem?

  4. Jim says:

    Oof, ticket prices are gonna be astronomical for this match. Every Arsenal supporter in the NYC area will be dying to go.

    Currently, you can only get tickets as part of a full season ticket plan, so it may just be worth buying one even if you’ll only go to a handful of other matches throughout the season. Which helps NYRB’s bottom line, but may lead to even more matches with half empty stands.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I think the cheapest season ticket is about $300. $300 to watch Arsenal play a friendly? If so, I’ll sell you my tickets I get as a season ticket holder for $300. I’d like to go but I’d like $300 more.

      • Jim says:

        That’s why I added “a handful of other matches.” I doubt people will be selling them for $300, but I could easily see them getting close to half that, considering that Arsenal haven’t even played a friendly in the US for 25 years.

        So for a more casual fan, it may make sense to buy a season ticket even if you only go to 6 or 7 matches the rest of the year.

  5. Kmac014 says:

    I wonder if Henry will retire after this match

  6. SteveE says:

    Its a start, we need a US tour. We need west coast. I would travel to LA if I need to. One thing for sure is I will be rocking my red when Sounders play Tott this summer.

  7. Brain Guy says:

    How about using those connections to arrange some loans of young Arsenal prospects to RBNY?