You could say that French striker Thierry Henry started the 2012 MLS season on fire.
WATCH: Henry smashes it in
The Red Bulls’ striker scored nine goals in his first eight games, to go along with four assists, and seemed certain to challenge Major League Soccer’s all-time single season mark of 27 goals by Roy Lassiter back in the league’s inaugural season in 1996.
As luck would have it, Henry scored his first career hat trick in North America over that stretch against the Impact, back on March 31 at Red Bulls Arena, in a 5-2 win over Montreal.
Then a string of injuries forced Henry out of six of his team’s next seven games. He’s appeared in just five games since then, scoring once and adding an assist, but it seems he is rounding back into form as both points he’s accumulated have come in his last two games. His most recent marker is up for AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 20 in his game against New England on July 21 (going up against the Impact’s Sanna Nyassi who scored a beauty in a 2-1 win at Stade Saputo last Wednesday, among others).
Henry is still one of the world’s most prolific goal scorers as he’s found the back of the net 24 times in just 40 games played over the last season and a half in MLS, and has one goal in four games played with Arsenal in January on loan.
The World Cup winner has scored 259 goals in 507 games played over his career, and if he can stay healthy, he will most definitely build on his career average of one goal per every two games played.
The good news for the Impact…a trio of Serie A veterans may be ready to fortify the backline.
Henry hat-trick vs MTL
Alessandro Nesta saw his first action in the international match versus Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday and may be ready to go come Saturday. Fellow defenders Nelson Rivas and Matteo Ferrari saw significant action against OL as well, and look primed to get back into the lineup following lengthy injuries.
The possibility of their return could not have come at a better time as the Impact will look to the trio of Serie A veterans down the stretch to try and climb back into a playoff spot.
Also, American Kenny Copper has scored 13 goals, which have him in second place in MLS scoring, and the recently acquired Sébastien Le Toux seems to have found some chemistry alongside his fellow countryman.
Henry was a handful back on March 31, but missed the second matchup between these two sides back on May 19 at Olympic Stadium. Henry, who played 56 minutes in the All-Star Game versus Chelsea, left the game on his two feet. He will be in Montreal Saturday!