August 28, 2012
That Henry 'definitely could be flying tomorrow'
By Michael Lewis
Thierry Henry flew into Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to train with the Red Bulls for their Wednesday encounter against D.C. United.
Coach Hans Backe hopes the veteran striker will be flying in the crucial MLS match at RFK Stadium at 8 p.m.
Henry missed New York's 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City due to the birth of his son. So, the Red Bulls captain should have plenty of rest under his belt. The last game he played was the 3-2 comeback home win over the Portland Timbers on Aug. 19.
"I hope he’s flying [on the pitch]," Backe said during a Tuesday morning conference call with reporters. "Now he trained individually on … Sunday, Monday – two quite hard sessions. We will soon have more of a soft session today and I would definitely hope now when things are done now with the birth that he definitely could be flying tomorrow."
This will be the Red Bulls' second appearance at RFK this season. The first one they would rather forget, although Backe felt the 4-1 loss on April 22 could be a motivating factor.
"I think it could be a motivating factor because we had a very sloppy game and the rivalry between the teams should be a motivating factor," he said. "They almost outplayed us and we had a very poor game. But I also think the tie against K.C. means a lot for us in this second game on the road."
That Sunday draw snapped a three-game road losing streak, but extended the team's road winless skid to seven games (0-4-3). The Red Bulls haven't won away since a 2-1 victory over the expansion Montreal Impact on May 19.
"We stopped a [three] game losing streak on the road, that was, I would say . . . terrible games on the road and we needed to stop that," Backe said. "Tactically wise, we said, ‘OK, we need to play this kind of formation, this has to be the starting position for our defense and let’s see what we could do on the breaks.’ We closed them down, they didn’t have one one-hundred percent scoring chance."
Then again, neither did the Red Bulls.
"They had a header, when [Aurelien] Collin was under pressure, they had to finish from 25, 30 yards from free kicks and things like that. We had the two best chances with [Sebasiten] Le Toux and Dax McCarty and that just proved that this is the way we have to play on the road."
Which means the Red Bulls could play yet another ugly road game at United in an attempt to secure at least one point.