Henry: Sunday’s New England encounter is not about me

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

If speculation is to be believed, a sold out Red Bull Arena will be treated to the final match of Thierry Henry’s illustrious career with the New York Red Bulls this Sunday in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final.

That will certainly remain a talking point leading up to — and through — their encounter with the New England Revolution.

But that shouldn’t be the case — at least according to the man himself.

“What it will be for me if we ever win it, it will be the first ever MLS Cup for the club,” Henry told reporters.  “That is where I will leave it.”

Henry remained evasive about his future with the club and his status for the second leg of the playoff series at Gillette Stadium. He does, however, recognize the importance of victory in the greater context of the franchise.  Ever a student of the game, Henry has come to embrace the Red Bulls’ heritage, particularly that of the Metrostars — warts and all.  Long before the team’s “As Long As We’re Breathing” campaign (designed to honor their long forgotten past), Henry has been leading the charge with a not-so-discreet homage to the Metro years with his black and red striped captain’s armband.

Interestingly enough, as the Red Bulls continue to resurrect their past, they have also begun slaying many of the Metro-year curses, with the most recent accomplishment of beating longtime rival DC United in the postseason.

Now, the Red Bulls set their eyes on making their way past a conference final for the first time since 2008.

From there, it is MLS Cup or bust.

“It is not going to be a me last game or not last game,” Henry said.  “It has to be more if we win it, it will be the first ever title for this team and that is the only thing on my mind and on the mind of this team right now.”