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NEW YORK RED BULLS

March 1, 2012
NEW PARTNERSHIP?
Cooper, Henry score vs. Galaxy


Thierry Henry feels he and Kenny Cooper can work well together.
Thierry Henry feels he and Kenny Cooper can work well together.
Linda Cuttone/Sports /Vue Images
TUCSON, Ariz. -- With Luke Rodgers' visa problems not to be decided until March 8, the Red Bulls have to move on forward on their forward positions.

If the Englishman doesn't get his visa or is delayed from making his 2012 Major League Soccer debut, the Red Bulls' striking combination will be Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper.

They certainly didn't do too badly in the Red Bulls' 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy in the Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday night. Each player scored a goal, Cooper the first, Henry the second in the pre-season encounter.

Henry is prepared to play with his new partner in goal-scoring crime.

"They're box type of players," he said. "They want to score goals. It's kind of good for me, whether I play with Kenny or Luke. It's kind of nice that they can stretch the defense. He scored some great goals in Mexico and tonight, also. It's a great finish. I don't know if you guys take it for granted. it was an amazing finish. One touch. Hopefully he can do that for us. If Luke ever comes it will be great to have a lot of different type of opitons to play forward."

Forming a partnership doesn't necessarily mean setting each other up. "Kenny is the kind of guy that I tried to find a couple of times," Henry said. "It didn't work out."

But sometimes it is making runs to stretch the opposition to open things up for a teammate. Henry did just that on Cooper's goal in the 31st minute as the American converted a Conor Lade pass past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

"They played a great pass through to Conor and he did very well to find me in the box," Cooper said. "thierry Henry made a great run. Fortunately it went into the back of the net."

Cooper gave the former French international and Arsenal legend the highest of compliments and returned the compliment on Henry's second-half goal. Henry passed the ball wide right to Dane Richards, who returned a chip pass to the striker, who headed it home for a 2-0 advantage.

"It's an incredible privilege to have an opportunity to be on the same field as Thierry," he said. "He's a hero of mine. I think anyone in the world would love to have the opportunity to play with him. I feel very fortunate to have had two opportunites to do that now. His qualities are obvious. His goal, he took was fantastic tonight. His genral play was fantastic as well."

Asked if he could play the role of a provider, Henry replied, "I can play in that role. That's something the boss has to decide. But sometimes the game asks me to drop and take charge of the game. That's what I try to do. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't."

Henry had a two-month loan stint with his old club, Arsenal, in the English Premier League, and he has looked fit, very fit, according to Red Bulls coach Hans Backe.

"This is probably the best I've seen him since he arrived to us," Backe said, adding that Henry "still has a lot of pace."

And apparently a few more goals left in his legs and in his head.
 
 
 
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