New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry was named the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 4 of the MLS season today by the North American Soccer Reporters. Henry, who earned the award last week for a two-goal, one-assist performance against the Colorado Rapids on March 25, topped that showing by recording his first-career MLS hat trick and adding an assist in New York’s second-straight win – a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Impact Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. Full highlights of the match can be seen here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2012-03-31-ny-v-mtl/highlights.
With the Red Bulls down 1-0, the former Arsenal player put New York on the board in the 28th minute, rising between two Impact defenders to nod a Rafa Marquez long ball into the back of the net. On the team’s second goal in first half stoppage time to again tie the match, Henry provided the final pass to Dax McCarty, who earned a penalty kick that Kenny Cooper converted.
In the second half, the ex-Gunner Henry doubled his tally and scored the eventual game-winner. Eleven minutes into the interval, Henry controlled a McCarty feed, turned at the top of the box and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts inside the left post. On New York’s fourth goal, Henry was the provider, flicking on a Jan Gunnar Solli cross to Mehdi Ballouchy, who one-timed it in. Henry completed his hat trick in the 89th minute and became the first New York player in over five years to score three goals in one match, knocking the ball in after Cooper’s shot was parried by Ricketts.
The last Red Bull to secure a hat trick was midfielder Amado Guevara on Oct. 14, 2006 against Kansas City at Giants Stadium. He is also the first player since Jozy Altidore (Aug. 2007) to record two-straight multi-goal game performances.
Henry leads the League in goals scored with five and is second with three assists on the year. The Frenchman has had a hand in eight of New York’s MLS-leading 10 goals this season. Last year, Henry led the club and finished third in MLS with 14 goals and was named to the MLS Best XI. Since joining the Red Bulls in July 2010, the former World Cup, European Cup, UEFA Champions League winner, and Arsenal all-time best scorer has played in 41 matches, starting them all, while scoring 21 goals and recording 10 assists overall.