New York Red Bulls’ Petke downplays heat with Henry

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

New York Red Bulls Head Coach Mike Petke met team captain Thierry Henry face to face in the middle of Red Bull Arena Friday morning where both club icons shared some words and a handshake.

With that, the drama was over. Or was it?

For those that missed it, BigAppleSoccer issued a report Thursday evening detailing a brush up between star player and rookie coach that got so heated, they were separated by members of the technical staff.

By Friday, Petke was calling was downplaying the entire confrontation.

“What happened with me and Henry,” Petke joked. “Listen, Thierry Henry is one of the most passionate and fiery people I’ve ever been associated with. And unless you guys have been under a rock for the last 13 years, I’m pretty passionate and lose my head a lot too.

“Very normal stuff,” he continued. “There’s really nothing to report. Nothing to report. It happens all over the world. As you saw, Thierry and I talking fine today, we had a great conversation after practice yesterday, both on the same page, both ready to roll.”

While their public display of unity was quite visible, so was Henry’s place in training. The French legend lined up with the second team ahead of Saturday’s DC United clash. As if that wasn’t sign enough of his possible availability, he did not speak to media following Friday’s session; a signal that has, in the past, meant he would not be available to play.

Whether that is the case against D.C. is anyone’s guess.

“Thierry is available tomorrow,” Petke offered. “It wasn’t a full image of what we are going to see.

“He’s available tomorrow and we will determine that sometime before game time.”