New York Red Bulls teammates were quick to praise the game-changing performance of captain Thierry Henry in Sunday's MLS play-off victory over main rivals D.C. United.
Chants of ‘One more year!’ greeted New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry as he was substituted off in the 81st-minute of Sunday’s 2-0 home victory over D.C. United in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semi-finals series.
The 37-year-old chalked up two outstanding assists in front of the Red Bull Arena crowd to put New York in the driving seat to advance to the Conference Championship at the expense of their main rivals.
With his contract expiring at the end of 2014, Henry’s future with the club has been one of the major talking points in MLS over recent months, with the Frenchman so far staying mum on his plans.
Retirement rumours have been swirling in recent months but, while it remains uncertain whether he will ultimately call it a career, several reports have already suggested that a return to the Red Bulls is off the table.
However, after once again showcasing that his aging legs still have a lot to offer, it’s clear that his teammates are desperate for their star skipper to stick around.
‘Today was vintage Thierry,’ goalkeeper Luis Robles told MLSsoccer.com. ‘I think everyone that was watching the game – whether they were participating or watching – saw remnants of what he’s been doing for years.
‘There was a stretch in that game where I thought it didn’t matter who we played. As long as Thierry’s playing like this and we continue to support him the way he is, we’re going to be difficult to beat.’
Added midfielder Dax McCarty: ‘When No. 14 is feeling in the mood, you can’t stop him. He’s been in the mood the last couple of weeks. He’s, like I said before, as close to unstoppable as there is in this league.
‘Nobody really knows what he wants to do or what his plan is,’ he continued. ‘Maybe he does know and maybe that’s part of his motivation to make sure that he proves that he’s still pretty damn good. … It’s easy to see that this year, especially, and in this postseason he’s been not only our vocal leader, but also a leader by example and he’s not a guy to take lightly when he’s playing like he is now.
‘To me that’s the mark of a true captain.’
Having arrived in July 2010 from Barcelona to much fanfare, Henry enjoyed his most productive MLS regular-season to date in 2014, notching up 14 assists and 10 goals in 30 games to help guide the Red Bulls into the play-offs.
Helping strike-partner Bradley Wright-Phillips to a record-equalling 27 goals in the process, leading the club to their first-ever MLS Cup title would be fantastic note to go out on, but it remains to be seen which way the Arsenal legend is leaning.
‘I have a good idea. I think everyone here has a good idea,’ Robles said. ‘Ultimately he’s the one that’s going to make the decision, so he could just be bluffing.’