San Jose Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski is the unnamed 2012 Major League Soccer Player of the Year in the eyes of many fans and analysts. Don't look now, but one of the biggest stars in the league may have something to say about that during the final stretch of regular season contests.
New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 28 of the current campaign on Monday. It was the fifth total time that Henry has been honored by the league for his stellar play in 2012. He made history back in April when he became the first man to ever receive three consecutive Player of the Week awards. Henry was also named the league's Player of the Month for March.
Henry was the star of Saturday's New York vs. Columbus Crew showdown that took place at Red Bull Arena. He leveled the match in the ninth minute when he tracked down a brilliant over the top ball delivered by fellow designated player Rafa Marquez and then deposited a shot past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum and into goal. Henry then made TV highlights, including the Sportscenter Top Ten, with an Olimpico in stoppage time, a goal that was as impressive as any tally scored in MLS this season.
Henry is, following Week 28 of the season, now fourth in MLS in league goals scored this season with 13. He is behind Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio (14), teammate Kenny Cooper (14) and the previously mentioned Wondolowski (19). The New York captain is also responsible for nine assists, which has him in the top ten of that category in league stats. New York host Sporting KC, who are currently atop the MLS Eastern Conference standings, on Wednesday evening before the Red Bulls are away to New England Revolution on Saturday. A popular thought among fans is that Henry won't feature for RBNY on Saturday due to the Gillette Stadium turf.
A quick look at all the stats could lead one to immediately disregard Henry as a 2012 MVP candidate. Fans shouldn't forget that he missed roughly one month of action due to injury this past spring. Wondolowski has been the hottest scorer in all of MLS throughout the season, and I couldn't imagine that anybody would have a problem if the San Jose and US Men's National Team player picked up league MVP honors this fall. With that said, Henry could, if he remains healthy, swoop in and snatch the award away from Wondo in the eleventh hour, especially if the living legend remains healthy and in form;
and also leads New York to a first place regular season finish.