Henry leads Red Bulls past Crew in 4-1 rout

IMAGE, ROB TRINGALI, NEW YORK RED BULLS

HARRISON, N.J. – Saturday night belonged to Thierry Henry.

The Red Bulls captain played a part in all four goals as New York took a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Crew in front of a crowd of 17,028 fans at Red Bull Arena.

“I would love to get Thierry out in the 60th minute of many games to rest him with games coming up, but shows having him on the field, he’s always a threat,” head coach Mike Petke said after the match.  “I mean his performance tonight, purely on scoring opportunities and assists, is world class and that’s why he is on the field game in and game out.”

With the win, New York separate themselves from the Crew in the Eastern Conference standings. The Red Bulls improve to 5-5-8 (23 pts.) while the Crew fall to 4-6-8 (20 pts.).

With both sides jockeying for possession early in the first half, Henry helped the Red Bulls break through. A clever pass from Eric Alexander found Henry in space, allowing the Frenchman to put Bradley Wright-Phillips through for a tap in past Columbus keeper Steve Clark for the lead in the 17th minute. The goal was Wright-Phillips 15th on the season, and his sixth in six matches. That tally keeps him firmly atop the MLS Golden Boot race.

“I don’t know if you can expect to be on this kind of a run. I’m just getting very fortunate at the moment, I’m enjoying it though,” Wright-Phillips said after the match.  “You see today the assist [Henry] put on a plate for me. He did it for two other plays today I think. It makes it so much easier playing with a guy of his class.”

Columbus answered in the 39th minute thanks to a clinical strike from Adam Bedell. The Crew forward took an Ethan Finley feed in space, catching both Matt Miazga and Jamison Olave out of position near the top of the box. His shot beat Luis Robles to knot up the encounter.

That lead was short lived. Once again, Henry played a part in putting New York ahead, following behind Wright-Phillips in the area and chasing down his rebound to put New York ahead at the break.

The Frenchman showed little joy in his moment, following the goal by chewing out his teammates — both on and off the pitch.

“He was not happy,” Robles said.  “You know, we needed that. Because you need to shake it up. We’re on a bit of a run, but even on this run we’ve gotten lucky. It’s up to us to decide games and we’re not deciding games. In the second half we decided that game. So we need our captain, we need our leader to be emotional like that. The guys just fed off it. That’s why in the second half it was compact, defense played great, we didn’t give up those chances and we got three points.”

A fiery halftime tongue lashing brought the Red Bulls back to life in the second. New York followed their captain’s lead and played aggressor to an overwhelmed Crew side.  Once again, Henry played the distributor, threading a pass to Lloyd Sam on net who sent a curler in to bring the score to 3-1.  Henry added another assist for good measure in extra time, badly beating the Crew’s offside trap and springing Eric Alexander on a one-on-one with Clark.  The red-hot winger buried his chance to close out a four goal night for New York.

With that assist, Henry became the team’s all-time assist leader with 37, beating out previous record holders Amado Guevara and Tab Ramos.

“The second half we were much more organized,” Petke said.  “Our balance was better.  We talk so much in the week leading up and even in my pregame tonight that balance and spacing were key for tonight. Middle to the end of the first half we were all over the place, it looked like two separate teams, again. We were getting dragged everywhere and we had guys going forward and not necessarily getting back in the timely fashion I would preferred.

“But in the second half we were getting behind the ball a little bit because they were looking for the tie, and they needed two goals, but we were very organized.”

The Red Bulls face a short turnaround this week as they head to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union (4-8-7, 19 pts.) on Wednesday.

New York Red Bulls 4, Columbus Crew 1
July 12, 2014
MLS Regular Season
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Scoring Summary:
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 15 (Thierry Henry 7, Eric Alexander 6) 17’
CLB: Adam Bedell 1 (Ethan Finlay 2) 39’
NY: Thierry Henry 4 (unassisted) 45’
NY: Lloyd Sam 2 (Thierry Henry 8) 56’
NY: Eric Alexander 2 (Thierry Henry 9) 91+’

Disciplinary Summary:
CLB: Bernardo Anor (caution) 43’
NY: Luis Robles (caution) 73’
CLB: Tony Tchani (caution) 84’
CLB: Bernardo Anor (second caution, ejection) 85’
NY: Lloyd Sam (caution) 89’

New York Red Bulls (5-5-8, 23 pts.): Luis Robles, Chris Duvall, Jamison Olave, Matt Miazga, Ambroise Oyongo, Lloyd Sam, Tim Cahill, Eric Alexander, Bobby Convey (Dax McCarty 61’), Thierry Henry (Andre Akpan 92+’), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Ibrahim Sekagya 82’)

Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Connor Lade, Kosuke Kimura, Peguy Luyindula

Columbus Crew (4-6-8, 20 pts.): Steve Clark, Michael Parkhurst (Tyson Wahl 59’), Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Bernardo Anor, Ben Speas, Wil Trapp, Fedrico Higuain, Tony Tchani, Ethan Finlay (Aaron Schoenfeld 70’), Jairo Arrieta (Adam Bedell 25’)

Substitutes not used: Matt Lampson, Dan Paladini, Justin Meram, Kevan George

Referee: Ted Unkel
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Bill Dittmar
4th Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald
Attendance: 17,028