TH14 Day in New York...Almost

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | View Comments
June 22, 2010 - Bloemfontein, South Africa - epa02216121 Thierry Henry of France goes to the bench prior the FIFA World Cup 2010 group A preliminary round match between France and South Africa at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, 22 June 2010.

It's finally here...Thierry Henry announcement day. Kinda. It's in the New York Times, so we know it's real, and after all the nonsense, acknowledgment is step one. No more beating around the bush. No more games, no more subterfuge, and no more clever marketing. The Red Bulls have an aging, cheating, France-disaster contributing (because they're ALL contributors, Anelka-like petulance or not) all-time great striker on their hands, and dammit if he isn't going to help them fill up that beautiful new building of theirs.

I imagine it's like freaking Christmas for Red Bull fans. I'm happy for them. I can put my cynicism on hold for the moment, because tough the timing is unfortunate, I have high hopes for what TH14 can bring to Le Toreaux Rouge. On the field, provided he can adjust quickly to the MLS style of play, he will score goals. Off the field, he will be the highest-profile ambassador for the league since you-know-who, and hopefully with a clearly picture of how he will compose himself.

He already has a leg up on Beckham because his arrival does not coincide with an injury. Henry will debut in a friendly and not in the league, but that's neither here nor there for the moment. Playing in America's media capital will give him ample opportunity to play league pitchman in his likable way, and while I'm reserving judgement on New York's chances to win it all until I see Henry make them markedly better, his arrival brings a rich new element to the rest of the campaign.

Rumors of a third DP landing in Harrison are swirling now. With Angel, Henry, and another possible name player, New York will suddenly live up to their rightful status as big market behemoth. The checks and balances of caps and playoffs make it extremely unlikely that they can run away with a title, but I am reveling in the silly nature of it all.

Even if the revised DP rules make little difference beyond New York and New Jersey, installing the mechanism for the richer teams to separate themselves, even if it's only in fading star power, is a step in the right direction.
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