Empire State of Mind for Theirry Henry

Henry & Nash

By Alex Simon

The Thierry Henry to MLS rumor resurfaced over the weekend. According to the Daily Mail, Henry will look for a new challenge after the World Cup with the 32-year old excited at the prospect of playing football in one of the world’s biggest cities in New York.

For some time now, Henry has stated he would eventually like to play in the states. However, this report is the first to put a timeline on when Henry would come to Major League Soccer. Henry has stated numerous times that he loves New York and would not be willing to play for any other MLS club but the Red Bulls. Given this and the many subsequent reports, the Thierry Henry Watch is now in full effect.Red Bull?

There has only been one other player close to Henry’s worldwide popularity to play in MLS, David Beckham. There has been much debate whether Beckham coming to America has been a success. While Beckham has sold out jerseys and stadiums, the Galaxy have not been competitive until this year. I believe it is still too early to decide if Beckham’s influence was a positive one for MLS and soccer in America.

Beckham may be a heartthrob and a fashion mogul, but Henry has something to offer that Beckham can never, scoring goals. The few well-informed soccer fans in the U.S. understand that you do not have to score a goal to have a good game. However, this would be a non-issue regarding the Frenchman. Henry is a forward, and scoring goals is what he does best. If Juan Pablo Angel can put up impressive numbers in MLS, there is no telling the damage Henry could do to opposing defenders. My guess is to expect video game-like numbers if Henry were to come play here.

We learned that one guy can’t change the way Americans look at soccer, but Henry’s goal scoring would bring more awareness to the game than Beckham’s occasional free kick strike. Whether you like soccer or not, most people are fans of scoring. SportsCenter is not going to put a nice Beckham cross in their highlight-reel, but Henry putting one in the back of the net, now that is something to work with.

The Sun Not Yet Setting in Phoenix

nash0508

By David Kay

When the Suns dealt Shaq to Cleveland for ultimately two expiring contracts and a future second-round pick, it seemed as if a re-building process was imminent in the Desert. There were even rumors that Amare Stoudemire was going to be traded to Golden State. But instead of tearing apart the nucleus that helped Phoenix rise to one of the best and most exciting teams in the Western Conference, they ensured that the squad would continue to shine brightly.

The rise of the Suns directly coincided with the signing of Steve Nash in 2004. Nash took the reigns of the offense and earned back-to-back MVP honors. Entering the final year of his contract in Phoenix, the Suns and Nash agreed to a 2-year contract extension worth $22 million, further proving that Phoenix is not ready to blow up their roster.

Nash is getting up their in age, but he is still a very valuable player who knows how to run an offense, is a solid three-point threat, and happens to be automatic from the free-throw line. Eleven million is a reasonable price to pay for Nash, assuming he still has gas in the tank to play at a high level for another three seasons.

It is a little surprising that Nash decided to re-sign now rather than wait until the 2010 offseason and see what the market for an established veteran point guard would be. But since he is turning 36 this season, Nash may have been wise in taking the guaranteed money now in case this was the year that his age caught up to him.

To read the rest of this analysis click here

For a similar analysis of the Jarret Jack signing click here