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Thierry Henry arrives in New York; what it all means

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Henry
Henry

Thierry Henry insists he is not coming to America for an extended vacation.

True dat?

Early indications upon Wednesday's announcement are pretty good. Dan Courtemanche, on top of the totem poll at MLS communications, told me yesterday that Henry essentially said “bring it on” when asked about a full day of media engagements. He’ll start tomorrow on Univision’s national morning show, appearing on set at 6:45 a.m. (Henry speaks Spanish, of course, from his days in Barcelona.) He’ll scoot from there over to segments on Good Day New York and the CBS Early Show. He has some other appointments in between and then ends the long day with an appearance on NBC’s Late Night withy Jimmy Fallon. Courtemanche says he was happy to do all that and more.

It’s also telling that Henry will be ready, set and in place as the summer transfer window opens. People may have raised a concerned brow, but probably wouldn’t have balked if Henry had asked for a longer break following World Cup.

You can read more about his big-picture impact in the piece I wrote for SI.com.

Here are a couple of things you won’t read in that piece, however. (Click on for those …)

 

Reports from Courtemanche and others say that Henry “gets it.” Steve Nash has talked up what a quality individual the French star is.

Courtemanche also told me, going a little further back, a story about Youri Djorkaef, the former French international who played two seasons with the Red Bulls from 2004-05. Even back then, Djorkaef was telling anyone who would listen that MLS truly needed to pursue Henry whenever that became possible. He talked about a talented player who also carried himself with charm and charisma. Henry could truly capture the town and soccer supporters’ hearts in a way most individuals cannot, Djorkaef believed.

Let’s hope they are all correct. While no one wants to see a Yankees-type empire, there can be no argument that Major League Soccer’s growth and development will be facilitated by a stronger, more visible franchise in the New York area.