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RBNY Fan: Thierry Henry Named MLS Player of the Month
New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry was unquestionably the best overall player in Major League Soccer during the first month of the 2012 regular season. The league recognized Henry for his play on Thursday.
Major League Soccer announced via the league's official website on Thursday afternoon that Henry was named the first Player of the Month of the 2012 campaign. Henry received 17 of a possible 25 first-choice votes from the North American Soccer Reporters. Joe Cannon of the Vancouver Whitecaps received three votes. Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes received two.
Despite New York's somewhat unimpressive 2-2 March record, nobody could argue that any player in the league has been better than Henry since the start of the regular season. Henry finished March with two Player of the Week awards. He had his first hat-trick of his MLS career in New York's final game of the month, a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Impact. Henry heads into April as the league's leading scorer with five goals. He is second to only Graham Zusi in the assists category (Henry has three assists to Zusi's five).
One cannot mention Henry's performances in March without also giving at least a little credit to fellow forward Kenny Cooper. While Juan Agudelo and Henry again failed to mesh up top in the New York lineup during the season opener, the Cooper-Henry pairing helped turn New York into the league's top-scoring side heading into Easter weekend. Cooper has thus far scored four goals this season.
While Henry has been slowed down by injuries in the past few years, one shouldn't automatically assume that the New York captain will not continue this run of form into the heart of spring. Henry played savior for Arsenal multiple times during a six week loan that landed him with his former club during the winter. Henry has also proven both with his level of play and his words (Henry was a vocal leader in the dressing room during halftime of the Montreal contest, and he then scored twice and assisted on a goal during the final 45 minutes of that match) that he is truly committed to bringing the MLS Cup to this particular fan base, perhaps more than ever before.
Henry finished 2011 as New York's leading scorer with 14 goals. He's a third of the way to that number after just four games. Obviously, Henry is not going to average over a goal per game this MLS season. Looking ahead at New York's April fixtures, one can't help but think that, as long as both he and Cooper remain healthy, Henry could again be taking home Player of the Month honors one month from today. Heading into the first full weekend of April, I'm certainly not betting against the RBNY captain.
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