HARRISON, N.J. - Quite the script, hey, Thierry?
"It's going to be a special one for me," Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry said at a news conference Wednesday. "What a script to come here and have my first game against Tottenham."
After signing with the club nine days ago, Henry finally took the pitch last night for the first time with his team in a game showcasing old and new.
Past met present at Red Bull Arena as Henry - the former striker of the London club Arsenal - sported his red and gold No. 14 for the first time against his former London-derby rival in Tottenham Hottspur of the English Premier League.
Henry scored the game's first goal midway through the first half, but the Red Bulls lost the exhibition match to Tottenham, 2-1.
In the 25th minute, thanks to one American-looking baseball-slide from the Frenchman, his debut turned into something truly special.
Henry scored his first goal as a Red Bull via a sliding strike with his right foot for a 1-0 lead. It came on a cross from midfielder Joel Lindpere and beat Tottenham goalie Carlo Cudicini.
Henry, when asked what his gesture to the fans meant after the goal, said: "I'm here. That's what I am saying. I'm here, and happy to be here."
For Henry, though, it was the furthest thing from a surprise. The former Arsenal striker was the class of the Red Bull Arena pitch during his 45 minutes. He had three shots, including two shots on goal, one a wide-open chance inside the Tottenham box in the seventh minute.
The match was the first of four games this weekend at Red Bull Arena in the inaugural Barclays New York Challenge Tournament. In the pre-determined round-robin format, the Red Bulls also are scheduled to play to face English Premier League Power Manchester City Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
A dozen or so players who participated in last month's World Cup will be here this weekend, but last night all eyes were on Henry.
Just as they have been for the past week.