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.
|Guardiola warns Man City stars: If you´re not fit, danger is coming|
|Mkhitaryan prepares to prove himself at United|
|Cavani: No pressure replacing Ibrahimovic|
|Wenger vows to keep transfer plans ´secret´ after Lacazette snub|
|Brannagan open to Championship loan move|
|Wenger wants to sign Mertesacker replacement|
|Ancelotti: Bayern´s transfer business done|
|Brisbane Roar sign former Danish international Kristensen|
|Verratti, Luiz missing for PSG|
|Sounders part ways with foundation coach Schmid|
|Mane turned down Manchester United for Liverpool|
|Zidane on Pogba: Until August 31, anything can happen|
|Mkhitaryan driven by father´s death|
|Inter rejected Napoli offer for Icardi, says president|
|Clichy: City fighting fit after Guardiola pizza ban|
|Everton and Burnley win as Hull are held|
|Ajax held by PAOK after Cillessen howler|
|Conte left frustrated by ´crazy´ money in transfer market|
|Neymar makes Barcelona case to Gabriel Jesus|
|Rostov comeback twice for Champions League draw with Anderlecht.|
|Arsenal defender Mertesacker set for lengthy lay-off|
|Conte not selling ´fantastic´ Matic|
|Ibrahimovic keen on MLS and Beckham´s Miami project|
|Neymar: I play for Messi, he´s the man|
|Barcelona reveal details of Andre Gomes deal|
|Suarez bullish over Barcelona prospects|
|Ajax claim Napoli keen on Milik to replace Higuain|
|Totti labels Higuain´s Juventus move ´a disaster´|
|Juventus confirm Higuain deal|
|Pato to Villarreal ´in the final stage´|
|PSG sign Lo Celso|
|Muller: Beating Dortmund will be more fun this season|
|Juventus sign Higuain from Napoli for €90m|
|Pastore: I´m like God in Paris|
|Injured Lanzini out of Olympics|
|Allegri unperturbed by Higuain fee|
|Menezes replaces Bento at Cruzeiro|
|Sporting rejected major bids from Inter and Liverpool for Joao Mario, claims father|
|Pochettino pleased by Tottenham despite Juventus defeat|
|Eriksson: Allardyce the right man for England|
|Mourinho makes United train after stepping off plane from China|
|Hazard can still match Messi, says Pedro|
|Pjanic shows there is life at Juve, with or without Pogba|
|Juventus 2 Tottenham 1: Benatia bags win for Serie A champions|
|Dembele: I am not the Bundesliga´s next superstar|
|Lyon claim €35m Arsenal offer for Lacazette rejected|
|Donnarumma dreaming of Milan captaincy as he eyes long-term stay|
|Robson: Ibrahimovic can match Van Persie´s first year at United|
|Rooney should remain England captain - Eriksson|
|Emery wants new striker at PSG|
|Santos accept Juventus bid for Gabriel|
|Eriksson expects Sweden to try and tempt Ibrahimovic out of retirement|
|Spurs signing Janssen almost quit|
|Leicester stay best for Mahrez - Ranieri|
|Allardyce to take Mourinho cue on Rooney|
|Ings ready to outdo big-money signings|
|Henderson optimistic over Liverpool campaign|
|Allardyce hardened to the challenge of England post|
|Barcelona announce record revenues for 2015-16|
|Moyes enjoys Sunderland win as Palace beat Colchester|
|Stoke complete Allen signing|
|Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas|
|Cresswell out for up to four months with knee injury|
|Burnley fan banned by club for racist abuse|
|Dad won´t let me play at the Olympics - Larsson Sr pulls rank|
|Kostic joins Hamburg on five-year deal|
|Tevez: I´d turn down Chelsea and Napoli to stay at Boca|
|Mayoral inspired by Benzema for Wolfsburg stint|
|Allardyce straight into competitive action with England|
|Liverpool, Sevilla fined for Europa League final incidents|
|Barcelona seal Guillemenot signing as part of new Servette deal|
|Niersbach handed one-year ban over World Cup corruption|
|Chelsea and Everton ´still interested´ as Koulibaly eyes Napoli exit|
|´Still working hard´ - Balotelli trains with Liverpool kids|
|Winter breaks, long-ball football and the World Cup: Allardyce in his own words|
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|