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.
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.