Soccer: Thierry Henry comes to town

From the April 4, 2012 edition

The greatest player ever to don an MLS jersey rolls into Columbus this week, and he’s most certainly not David Beckham.

Thierry Henry, the French striker who won a World Cup in 1998 before launching an historic career with Arsenal and FC Barcelona, is now tearing up MLS at age 34. With five goals in his last two games — good for MLS Player of the Week honors two weeks running and a two-game win streak for his New York Red Bulls — Henry arrives in Columbus this Saturday with a hot hand. (Or foot, as it were. You can’t use your hands in soccer, you know.)

Henry and his mates face a Columbus squad on a two-game win streak of its own, having dispatched Canadian foes Montreal and Toronto in the past two weeks. Both teams are part of a four-way tie at second place in the Eastern Conference. And while Henry’s celebrated teammates are dropping like flies — former Mexico captain Rafa Marquez is struggling through a groin injury, while rising U.S. gunner Juan Agudelo is recovering from knee surgery — the Crew faithful have been watching new stars ignite in the form of offseason acquisitions Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas.

Still, even in the Nordecke, all eyes will be on Henry this Saturday. It’s not mere provincial enthusiasm; this is a man whose presence causes footie fans to shiver with excitement worldwide.

Those in the dark, get acquainted. Those in the know, get excited.