MONTCLAIR NJ - JULY 16: Head Coach Hans Backe talks to Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls as he practices with the team for the first time at Montclair State University on July 16 2010 in Montclair New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

As Thierry Henry Debuts, A View From England

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He's Here: Thierry Henry Scores For Red Bulls

It took Thierry Henry all of 25 minutes to get into the scorebook for the New York Red Bulls. A few stepovers from midfielder Joel Impere on the left wing opened up enough space for a cross into the box, and Henry put a touch on the ball to put New York up 1-0 over Tottenham Hotspur to get the Henry era off to a good start.

New York has had a variety of good chances: Henry found himself alone in front of the net with the ball earlier after a mistouch from a Tottenham defender, but couldn’t find a way to put it on net, and Seth Stammler blew an open goal opportunity after a great cross from Dane Richards. The crowd is really into the game and making lots of noise every time Henry gets near the ball.

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Tottenham Familiar Foes For Thierry Henry in Red Bulls Debut

The New York Red Bulls get their first game with their brand new acquisition, Thierry Henry, tonight, at Red Bulls Arena. It’s not a game that’s important in terms of the standings – it’s a friendly with English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur – but it should be one of the more hyped matchups the Red Bulls have had in their franchise history.

First off, it's not every day you a club from the world’s best club league comes to New Jersey. The Spurs finished fourth in the Premiership last year, putting them in this next season’s Champion’s League, and their lineup features such international players as Jermain Defoe, who scored for England in the World Cup, and Giovani Dos Santos, the ex-Barcelona player who started every game for Mexico.

Secondly, it’s definitely not every day that the Red Bulls get to debut a player who probably would be the star for the Premiership club they’re playing, and they’ll have a chance to do that tonight with Henry.

Henry has a history with Tottenham – in his eight years at Arsenal, the Spurs were his most bitter rival, as both clubs are situated in North London. The Star-Ledger asked him how he felt about facing his old enemies.

“What a script, right?" Henry said shaking his head. "The first game against Tottenham. I didn’t even know because it wasn’t planned that long ago so, yeah, Tottenham. What am I to do?"

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As Thierry Henry Debuts, A View From England

SB Nation New York will have plenty of coverage of Thierry Henry's debut Thursday night with the New York Red Bulls. Howard Megdal has already shared his thoughts here and here

As tonight's debut against the Tottenham Spurs (8 p.m. ET, FOX Soccer Channel) approaches, let's take a look at the view of Henry's arrival in the MLS from across the pond.

Here is a portion of a piece from the Globe and Mail today.

How Henry will fare will be interesting to see. He is certainly not as box office as David Beckham (his dVb jeans, sunglasses, perfume, aftershave or Victoria's fashion range) were three years ago but, in sporting terms, the Frenchman is arguably a better catch.

There's no pun intended there, by the way, although how New York's vibrant Irish community respond to the man who ended Ireland's World Cup dreams with his own ‘Hand of God' moment could be fascinating.

But Henry, the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker, is only 32, a player in his prime who could still do a job at many a Premier League club. He is on nothing like the £6m-a-year that lured Beckham to Los Angeles in 2007 and has always said he wanted to end his career across the pond. It is something of a coup for Major League Soccer to have him here.

The problem is, mainstream America hasn't quite realised this yet. Henry's image is plastered over a disused warehouse alongside the outpost that is the walkway to the Red Bull Arena, but there are no billboard posters of him splayed over skyscrapers in central Manhattan.

television interview on Fox 5 on Tuesday was nothing short of cringe-worthy. To be fair to the Frenchman, he remained remarkably composed in the light of a question which began: ‘So, you've just won the World Cup...' The female host thought he was Spanish.

Let's pass this off as two presenters being hideously unprepared but, the fact remains, the USA is still disenchanted with the beautiful game. And this after a summer that has seen the men's national team within an extra-time goal of making the World Cup quarter-final.

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