Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Thierry Henry will boost soccer in the US, Beckham says

REUTERS , LONDON

Barcelona’s Thierry Henry celebrates scoring against Olympique Lyonnais during their Champions League match in Barcelona, Spain, on March 11 last year.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Thierry Henry’s move to the New York Red Bulls is another boost for Major League Soccer and the profile of the sport in the US, David Beckham said on Wednesday.

The former England captain said in an interview that he would also not rule out his veteran former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs ending up with him on the other side of the Atlantic as well.

France striker Henry, 32, announced earlier that he was leaving Barcelona for a multi-year deal in New York.

“I think it’s great,” said Beckham, speaking after a worldwide interview with questioners from 18 countries through a live link-up on yahoo.com.

“Thierry joining the Red Bulls is great. I knew that he was interested in coming to the MLS because we’ve talked many a time about it and I’ve known for a while certain things,” the 35-year-old LA Galaxy midfielder said. “Thierry going there can only be good for the sport because it raises the profile, gets people talking about the MLS again and it makes it bigger.”

Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and joined Barcelona from Arsenal in 2007, helping them win the Spanish, European and World Club titles.

“For a player of his caliber and a name that he’s got around the world and in the sport, for him to be going to New York and playing for Red Bull is exceptional,” Beckham said. “I can’t wait to play against him. We are good friends and get on well. He’s an exceptional talent.”

Giggs, 36, was quoted in the British media as saying he could end his career in the US, although he still has a year left at United and might be too old by then.

Beckham disagreed.

“I think Ryan has looked after his body so well for many years and that’s the reason why he’s playing at such a high level still at his age,” Beckham said. “I think if he feels like he can still do it, he will do that. It doesn’t matter what age you are. If a Ryan Giggs and a Thierry Henry comes over and plays in the MLS, it’s great for the sport.”

CPBL

Yesterday’s results

• La New Bears 4,

Brother Elephants 1

• Sinon Bulls 11,

Uni-President Lions 5

Today’s games

• La New Bears v

Uni-President Lions

(Sinjhuang, 6:35pm)

• Brother Elephants v

Sinon Bulls

(Taichung, 6:35pm)


Beckham said the US team’s performances at the World Cup had also have given soccer a boost in the US.

“I heard 25 million watched the final in America, so that’s saying something. For a country where soccer is not the No. 1 sport, I think that’s exceptional,” he said. “They had some great players there and some great moments, scoring in the last minute to go through to the next round. Things like that. American people love the excitement and I think that helps the sport in the US.”

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