A piece of me just dies every time I look at this.
Thierry Henry was (is?) the player. The player we wanted to watch. The player we had to have in our fantasy teams. The player that could do the impossible and make it look easy.
And now he's moved to the MLS. Which could have been an exciting prospect for us. But...
But, he move to the NY/NJ Metrostars. Sorry, the NY Red Bull.
You see, Neal and I are DC United fans. Since day one. Since Eric Wynalda beat us with an 88th minute goal in the first ever MLS game. Since the magic triangle of Etcheverry, Moreno and Diaz Arce turned around that first season and led us to consecutive MLS Cup championships - the second of which we watched in the pouring rain at our home field, RFK Stadium. Since the day Peter Nowak and the expansion Chicago Fire beat us to deny us a hat trick of championships, and broke our hearts.
And you should know that we hate the Metrostars. We've always hated the Metrostars. The team from up I-95 that got all the breaks from the league office - all the stars, all the publicity - and still could never put a winning team together. Matthaüs, aka "Lothar of the Hill People". Meola. Tabaré Ramos. Carlos Quieroz. Tim Howard. Djorkaeff. Sergio Galvan Rey, "The King of Goals". Juan Pablo Angel. Jozy Altidore. All of them came and went and none of them could make it work. When they signed Jaimie Moreno, my favorite player ever, from DC United a piece of me died. (However when they also picked up Richie "El Pequeno Gigante" Williams, I thought it was good riddance.) It might not be the same as an Arsenal player moving down the Seven Sisters Road to Tottenham, but that's what if felt like to me.
And now, the Arsenal player of my formative soccer years has gone to the Red Bulls. I feel like another piece of me is dying today. I want Henry to succeed. I want him to still be the sublime talent that he was. I want him to light up the MLS stage and bring plaudits and pundits to the sport and to the league.
I just don't want him to do it for the NY Red Bull.