NEW YORK (AFP) - French national and former English Premier League star Thierry Henry scored a goal in his American football debut but it wasn't enough to get his New York Red Bulls past Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
Robbie Keane and Gareth Bale scored as Hotspur rallied with two second half goals to beat the Red Bulls 2-1 in an international friendly between Henry's Major League Soccer side and the English Premier League club at the Red Bull Arena.
"I would say that the reception was tremendous every time I touched the ball," Henry said.
Henry scored in the 24th minute of the first half for the Red Bulls. He made a near-post run past Verdan Corluka and then dove feet first in the box to deflect a cross from Estonian national team player Joel Lindpere past goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
Keane equalled in the 62nd minute, tapping the ball into an open net after Andros Townsend's corner kick was misjudged by 'keeper Greg Sutton. Bale scored 10 minutes later.
"He was a tough player over there," Keane said of Henry. "I'm sure he'll be a tough player over here, as well."
Henry's arrival in the USA follows his release from Spanish club Barcelona and coincided with Henry's confirmation that he has retired from international football after making 123 appearances and scoring a record 51 goals for France.
Henry, who turns 33 next month, signed a four and a half year deal with the Red Bulls. He is the latest in a list of aging veteran football stars lured to American soil with a chance to extend their careers and the promise of a lucrative contract.
Henry, a former World Cup and European champion with France, is the highest-profile player to join MLS since David Beckham signed with Los Angeles three years ago.
"He'll be a massive hit here in New York I'm sure," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. "He's a world-class player still. He could play on any team in the Premier League in England. He's still good enough."
Playing his first match since France was eliminated from the World Cup with a loss to South Africa on June 22, Henry was received a loud ovation when introduced in front of the crowd of 20,312.
The newest Red Bull member clapped his hands above his head to salute the crowd.
It didn't take long for Henry to impress. He had some deft exchanges with Lindpere and executed a freeing backheel pass and a bicycle kick that went wide.
Some fans also like the fact Henry took public transportation to the game.
"I was on the PATH train with my friends and with all the fans," Henry said. "For me, it was the quickest way to come to the game, and that's how I came. It was cool."
In Spurs, Henry was facing an old rival. He starred for Arsenal from 1999-07 and said last week he doesn't like to even say the name of Tottenham.
Henry will have to wait to see what he can do with new teammate Juan Pablo Angel, New Yorks' top player. Angel missed the match because of an ankle injury.
Thursday's friendly was part of an exhibition tournament dubbed the New York Challenge.
In other matches in the friendly competition, Manchester City play Sporting Lisbon on Friday, while on Sunday Man City plays Red Bulls and Spurs face Sporting.
|UEFA Europa League Review: Lovren misses crucial spot kick as Liverpool crash out|
|Rodgers rues lack of Liverpool guile|
|Pochettino laments ´key´ Soldado miss|
|Everton 3 Young Boys 1 (7-2 agg): Tormentor-in-chief Lukaku on song again|
|Serie A games to start late in show of support for Parma|
|Mancini irked by mistakes despite win|
|Besiktas 1 Liverpool 0 (aet, 1-1 agg, 5-4 pens): Lovren misses decisive spot-kick|
|Chelsea agree record sponsorship deal|
|Fiorentina 2 Tottenham 0 (3-1 agg): Gomez and Salah eliminate Spurs|
|Inter 1 Celtic 0 (4-3 agg): Guarin stunner sees Mancini´s men through|
|Manchester United v Sunderland: Poyet eyeing another Old Trafford upset|
|Monk has no problem with Van Gaal|
|Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Di Matteo buzzing ahead of derby debut|
|Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United|
|Sherwood seeks six wins for survival|
|Championship Preview: Neil relishing East Anglian derby|
|Newcastle United v Aston Villa: Carver praises rejuvenated visitors|
|Granada v Barcelona: Catalan giants aiming to put pressure back on Real|
|Burnley v Swansea City: Monk targets 40 points in record time|
|Stoke City v Hull City: Meyler focused on maintaining resurgence|
|West Brom v Southampton: Pulis warns of continued dogfight|
|Police identify Chelsea fans over racist chanting|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter|
|Parma GM compares club to the Titanic|
|Alderweireld close to Southampton return|
|Dyche keen to move on from Barnes furore|
|Gutierrez in Newcastle squad for Villa clash|
|Union chief urges action over Serbia gun threat|
|Berahino doubtful for Southampton clash|
|German citizenship? Why not? - Ribery|
|League Two Preview: Bury hope winning environment rubs off, Burton host Newport|
|Klopp hoping to avoid any nasty surprises after bomb discovery|
|Blackett pens new United deal|
|Sakho to return to training|
|Flores quits Getafe for personal reasons|
|Busquets agrees new Barcelona deal|
|Martino ´could not be happy´ at Barcelona|
|Allardyce striving to develop more Nobles|
|Nani hopeful of United return|
|Unexploded bomb found near Dortmund stadium|
|Lippi leaves Evergrande for personal reasons|
|Chelsea issue cup final warning to fans|
|Ancelotti has no intention to re-sign Morata|
|Dunkin´ Donuts sorry after Liverpool fans slam alternate club crest|
|Noble signs new West Ham contract|
|Sterling hopeful of contract resolution|
|Ali renews UAE contract|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 America 3: Visitors win with late blitz|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pato´s streak continues|
|Chievo v Milan: Abbiati wants consistency from Inzaghi´s men|
|Valverde wants momentum ahead of ´crucial´ week|
|Deila challenges Van Dijk, Denayer|
|Serie A Preview: Roma in crucial clash with Juve, resurgent Inter at home|
|Prince Albert: I feel for Wenger|
|Jardim salutes Monaco´s game plan|
|Schmidt dreaming of UEFA Champions League quarter finals|
|Arsenal face ´extremely difficult´ challenge - Wenger|
|Simeone rues missed Atletico opportunities|
|Berbatov questions Arsenal mentality|
|Calhanoglu confident Leverkusen can progress|
|Nottingham Forest 2 Bournemouth 1: Freedman´s dream start continues|
|Gabi upbeat despite Leverkusen defeat|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco host PSG, Lille look to arrest slump|
|Arsenal 1 Monaco 3: All to do for Wenger´s men after limp first-leg display|
|Bayer Leverkusen 1 Atletico Madrid 0: Calhanoglu gives hosts narrow advantage|
|AFC Champions League Review: Western Sydney off to winning start|
|Piszczek blow for Dortmund|
|Bayern Munich v Cologne: Lewandowski wants more of the same from champions|
|Totti: Feyenoord win can be turning point|
|Icardi can be one of world´s best - Mancini|
|Crowe could ride to Leeds´ rescue|
|Martinez to keep faith with Howard|
|O´Brien fined for dissent in UAE victory|
|La Liga Preview: Messi aims to bounce back from penalty miss, leaders Real host Villarreal|
|Eredivisie Preview: Last chance saloon for De Boer´s Ajax|
|Amnesty International: Qatar must improve labour conditions|
|Greek professional football suspended|
|Liverpool trio out of Besiktas clash|
|Bundesliga Preview: Dortmund set for Ruhr derby, Bayern host Cologne|
|Rami to miss Chievo clash|
|Genoa game will go ahead, says Manenti|
|Neymar involved in spat with City fan|
|Steaua receive stadium ban from UEFA|
|Giaccherini out for majority of season|
|Brighton fined £90,000 for breach of agent rules|
|Chelsea try to identify seven over alleged racist chanting|
|No compensation for clubs over 2022 World Cup|
|Suarez: City fans´ boos helped inspire double|
|Not the right time for Gutierrez yet, says Carver|
|Naismith happy to be in the wars|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca reel in Montreal|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Another Bou hat-trick sees Racing win|
|A-League Preview: Sydney wary of Wanderers ahead of derby|
|Qatar 2022 date change strengthens calls for FIFA overhaul|
|Pellegrini: Champions League tie not over|
|Bresciano calls time on Australia career|
|Barcelona defend Messi´s penalty miss|
|Football League Review: Derby stay two points clear, Middlesbrough bounce back|