July 18, 2012
Henry, off Le Toux assist, scores 1st goal since April 28 to give Red Bulls 1-0 win
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. -- Team captain Thierry Henry broke a scoreless tie in the 71st minute to power the Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in an otherwise lackluster Major League Soccer match on Wednesday afternoon.
Henry scored his first goal since April 28 to salvage what was a rather uneventful encounter that was played in 100-degree temperature at ed Bull Arena.
The game kicked off at 1 p.m. as the Red Bulls tried an experiment with day campers in attendance.
As it turned out, two Frenchmen combined on the lone goal. Sebastien Le Toux, obtained in a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday, sent a right-wing cross to Henry on the left side. The former French international got between defenders Dan Gargan and Jalil Anibaba and fired a left-footed, 12-yard shot that bounded off the first post and into the net.
It was Henry's 10th goal of the year and first since he injured himself during a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution in a home game at the end of April.
Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, a former St. John's standout making his second appearance since a trade with the LA Galaxy on Friday, recorded his first shutout.
Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, making his second appearance since a trade with the LA Galaxy on Friday, recorded his first shutout as the Red Bulls 10-5-3, 35 points) continued their unbeaten streak at home (6-0-3).
The Fire (31) fell to 9-7-4.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe made two changes from the 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, using Mehdi Ballouchy and Victor Palsson at midfield and benching striker Kenny Cooper as the team used two forwards instead of a three-man frontline.
The game started slowly as players from each team passed cautiously and tried not to make any unnecessary runs.
After about 20 minutes, the Red Bulls started to assert themselves. Instead of passing only square balls, they tried moving the ball forward.
Two of their best opportunities came from forward Sebastien Le Toux, who sent a bicycle kick inside the penalty area over the crossbar in the 40th minute and forced goalkeeper Sean Johnson to make a save on his blast three minutes later.
Ballouchy seemed to use most of his energy early on, forcing Johnson to make a save on his 16-yard attempt in the 21st minute and firing a 15-yard effort wide right in the 33rd minute.
The Fire did not do too much in the opening 45 minutes as defender Dan Gargan headed a ball wide right in the 13th minute.