The future of New York Red Bull captain Thierry Henry will be an ongoing issue all season long, but Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh is sure of one thing.
“It won’t distract him — and it won’t distract us,” he asserts. “If you are a professional like Titi, or like we are as well, we don’t make those things distractions.”
That’s not to say Roxburgh doesn’t have a timeline in mind to address the situation.
“I would say that certainly by the summer we’d need to have some idea of what’s going to happen, what his feelings are and obviously then what the clubs feelings are,” he explains. “There is no immediate deadline. There is no schedule or road map or anything like that. In the coming few months, we’ll start talking about it.”
Despite not featuring against Vancouver, Henry remains the focal point of New York’s offense. The team captain accumulated more points than any other player on the team last year, tallying 10 goals (2nd on the team) and nine assists (team leader) through 2013. However, there have been signs that Henry is beginning to look at a post-football career. The Frenchman recently spoke about his desire to get into coaching and has also worked color commentary during the offseason for Premiership matches.
Roxburgh praised Henry’s work ethic and skill during the offseason and has made it no secret that the club will still have designs on keeping the former Arsenal legend beyond his contract.
The summer won’t only be a time for New York to decide on Henry’s future; it will also be their time-frame to pursue a third designated player. Roxburgh revealed New York’s designs on jumping into the summer transfer feeding frenzy after the World Cup.
When they do, they will have a secret weapon on their side to get an inside track on the available talent pool.
“Gerard Houllier will be going to the World Cup to work for FIFA as it turns out, and that means he’ll be our man on the ground, able to not only hear what’s going on, but see and look at various people,” Roxburgh explains. “That will be helpful to us to have Gerard actively involved in the World Cup.
“We’ll be monitoring,” he continues. “We’ve already got some ideas about that possibility. Again, there are no guarantees. It’ll have to be the right deal, and the owner would have to be comfortable with what’s involved.”