|France striker Thierry Henry poses for a portrait wearing a New York Red Bulls uniform. (REUTERS/David Clerihew)
SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Red Bull New York signed French forward Thierry Henry to a multi-year contract as its second designated player, the Major League Soccer club announced on Wednesday.
Henry, a World Cup, European Championship, and UEFA Champions League winner, will be available for selection for New York pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate after the July 15 international transfer window. His debut for Red Bull isn't expected to be until a July 22 fixture against English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena.
"Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner," New York general manager Erik Soler said. "He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organization the premium franchise in Major League Soccer."
"This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life," Henry said. "It is an honour to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team's history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull's significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed."
Henry most recently played for FC Barcelona, where he scored 49 goals. Prior to joining the La Liga club, Henry was captain of English Premier League power Arsenal FC. Henry became the Gunners all-time leading goal scorer with 226 goals from 1999-07. He also led the EPL is goals a record four times and helped the club win league championships in 2002 and 2004. The 32-year-old also won the European Golden Boot in 2004 and 2005.
Internationally, Henry most recently represented France in the World Cup for a record fourth time. Henry, a member of the 1998 World Cup-winning side and leading scorer, has scored a national-record 51 goals and earned 123 caps for his country. Henry also helped France win the 2000 European Championship and the 2003 Confederations Cup.
Henry is expected to team up with New York's other DP, striker Juan Pablo Angel, to form one of the most talented forward pairings in MLS.
"He's arguably one of the best players in our generation," Angel said. "He's a player that has won everything he could possibly win in this sport and he's still fit. I think it's an honour to have him here. He's going to be a tremendous addition to the league, to the Red Bulls."
Henry will be officially introduced to MLS at a press conference on Thursday at Red Bull Arena.