All-Star: Soccer legend Thierry Henry compliments Portland Timbers crowd
Portland, Ore . - Given the honor of captain's armband to lead the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Stars out at Providence Park against FC Bayern Munich Wednesday evening, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry was full of energy and verve in the first half. He nearly connected on a downright Darlington Nagbe-esque juggle and volley and was spinning all across the pitch with his typical style and sense for goal. He was the only player not taken out at half and the reason was so that he could get an honored recognition from the crowd in a formal substitution in the 48th minute.
Is this Henry's last year? He remains coy--watch the video above--but the response from the crowd for an MLS legend was a true moment of respect for one of the game's greats.
The standing ovation meant alot to the Frenchman as well.
"They're just amazing," said Henry of the Portland crowd to MLSsoccer.com. "I usually come here and get booed. It's normal. But they're just amazing."
Henry also clearly connected with MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter. Earlier in the week, Henry had complimented the Portland Timbers coach's tactical style at the official press conference, but after seeing it in action help achieve a victory, he was just as effusive after the game in the festive locker room.
“He believes in the team that pressures high and wants to play football," said Henry of Porter's gameplan. "It would have been easy at times to try to retreat and just play long. He wanted us to play.
"He said he knows it’s Bayern Munich. He knows it won’t be easy but like I said, and I’ll say it again, he wants his team to play football."
A veteran of Arsenal and FC Barcelona, that drive to attack clearly resonated with Henry. In his eyes, Henry was impressed by Porter's ability to get the team on the same high-pressure style with only a few practices under their belt in a busy MLS All-Star Week filled with numerous events.
"I know that you have other ways to win the game but he has a view and an identity and he stays by it," said Henry. "How can I put it? He put us out there on the field with an idea of what he wanted and trust me, it’s not easy in one, two days to get guys ready to play in such a game and he did it. You have to give him a lot of credit.”