With Henry In Fold, Red Bulls' Ticket Sales Skyrocket

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'Phones Have Been Ringing Off The Hook'

With all the hoopla surrounding the New York Red Bulls’ signing of French striker Thierry Henry, it should have been expected that ticket sales for the team would take off.

They have.

Since last Wednesday’s announcement making it official that the Red Bulls have signed Thierry Henry, Stover said that the staff is in overdrive handling the demand and interest generated by the acquisition.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook,” [managing director Erik] Stover told MLSSoccer.com.

Stover would not confirm any hard numbers on ticket sales, only to say that the post-World Cup lull in ticket sales “is over.”

Having “more than doubled our season tickets since last year,” Stover said that Henry’s impact won’t be fully felt until next year. Currently, only partial ticket plans and individual games are available for purchase through the club, including for this week’s Barclays New York Challenge, which begins on Thursday when Henry is expected to start against Tottenham Hotspur.

The trick for the Red Bulls will be turning the initial interest into a long-term upsurge.

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Henry Retires From French Team

Theirry Henry, the new superstar for the New York Red Bulls, spoke to the Associated Press prior to his introductory press conference Thursday with the Red Bulls.

He announced his retirement from the French national team.

“I always want to be here 100 percent and fully committed to this cause and the organization,” Henry said.

SB Nation New York’s Howard Megdal was at the Henry press conference today. Check back later in the day for his thoughts.

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Says 'I Expect A Lot From Myself'

Wearing an ‘I Love New York’ T-Shirt, Thierry Henry has spoken for the first time about joining the New York Red Bulls. Henry’s exclusive video interview is available on the Red Bulls’ website.

The French striker also said “I just want to win.”

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French Star Likely To Debut July 22

The New York Red Bulls have finally announced the signing of French star Thierry Henry — a move soccer aficionados have been anxiously awaiting.

Here is part of the announcement, from the Red Bulls website.

Red Bull New York announced today that it has signed star French forward Thierry Henry to a multi-year contract as its second Designated Player. Henry, a World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner, will be available for selection for New York pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and after the July 15 international transfer window. His debut for the Red Bulls is expected to be on July 22 against English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena.

"It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognizable soccer players over the past 15 years," said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. "We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner."

"This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life," Henry said. "It is an honor to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team’s history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull’s significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed."

Henry will be introduced at a press conference on Thursday, July 15 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ at 1:15 PM. The press conference will be streamed live on www.newyorkredbulls.com.

This is a huge deal for the Red Bulls and the MLS. Let's see how well the league capitalizes on it.

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Red Bulls Still Play Coy About Thierry Henry

It's an extremely poorly kept secret that Thierry Henry will join the New York Red Bulls tomorrow. (In fact, his Wikipedia article already lists him as a Red Bull.) But, for their part, the Red Bulls are doing everything they can to make it well known that there is some sort of secret revolving around Red Bulls soccer involving some mysterious star player. 

The Red Bulls are currently running three TV spots on local sports networks about the mystery man, who, for the sake of being as comically transparent as the Red Bulls are, we will refer to in this post as "Schmierry Schmenry".

So you're telling me there's a great soccer player coming to New York, who at one point in his career, wore shorts that said "Arsenal" on them, and he's apparently a light-skinned black guy. That doesn't remind me of anybody I know.  Especially nobody named Schmierry Schmenry. It's probably Arsenal's Theo Walcott. THEO WALCOTT IS COMING TO NEW YORK! Oh, wait, it's Thierry Henry.

Someone's jersey is hanging in the Red Bulls locker room! It's probably that of New Zealand international Andrew Boyens, which has taken on an ominous, eery glow since his return from the World Cup, even though he didn't play a single minute for the all-Whites, who, by the way were the only undefeated team in the World Cup. Way to go, Boyens!

Man, think about how long it's going to take that poor guy to customize all those Boyens jerseys after his phenomenal World Cup performance for New Zealand! 

So, uh, yeah, these commercials are all about Thierry Henry. 

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Will Marquez Join Henry With Red Bulls?

In addition to the Thierry Henry speculation, there have been reports that a second major player would be joining the New York Red Bulls soon.

Monday night that speculation centered on Barcelona star Rafael Marquez.

Sport reports that Henry’s deal with the US outfit is only a matter of days away and he could be joined by Marquez this summer as Red Bulls sporting director Erik Soler hinted that they were working on the possibility of another big name addition to their ranks, fuelling speculation that the 31-year-old was their target.

So, the World Cup is over. But, for a change, there still might be some soccer intrigue here in the U.S.

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Thierry Henry Expected To Join Red Bulls This Week

Thierry Henry's move to the MLS has been speculated upon for a long while now. It appears to be nearing reality.

Here is the latest report.

"Thierry is still a world-class player," said [Steve] Nash, a former [Dallas] Mavericks star. "We've seen players come over before who showed how great they were, but not necessarily every night.

"I think he's still capable of bringing it at the highest level," Nash added. "It's amazing that he's willing to come over at this stage of his career, to be honest. It's a big coup for Red Bull and MLS as well."

For the last two years, there has been speculation that Henry might come to the States. The 32-year-old former Arsenal and Barcelona star even said about 13 months ago that he would like to live in New York and play in MLS.

The door opened recently when Henry and Barcelona agreed to part ways, meaning the Red Bulls wouldn't have to pay a transfer fee to sign him.

We will be following this story closely here at SB Nation New York. We will do our best to keep you up to date.

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