RED BULLS IMPORT
After a disappointing World Cup with France (Les Bleus were eliminated in the first round), the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker scored against Tottenham in his debut with New York last Thursday
August 1, 2010
Dan Patrick:Why play in the United States now?
Thierry Henry: I was ready to do it a year ago. But for World Cup reasons I didn't want to come before, because I didn't want to be coming back and forth. I stayed with the national team to be 100 percent committed. I just love [New York], and I love this club and I wanted to represent New York, and I felt like it was the right time for me to be here.
DP:How would you compare the level of competition in the Premier League with MLS?
TH: I see it as more of me coming into my new team and trying to compete with my new team. It doesn't matter where you are. I'm not here trying to compare the leagues. I just came here trying to win and help the team.
DP:How is Steve Nash's soccer game? Have you spoken to him since you got here?
TH: I speak with him quite often. He can play football—or you say "soccer" here. He's actually a good player.
DP:Who's a better passer? Steve Nash or Tony Parker?
TH: Oh, man. Two friends—I can't choose between two friends. I really can't choose between two friends. You're killing me here.
DP:What was it like when you went home from the World Cup?
TH: I just arrived and had a meeting with the [French] president Nicolas Sarkozy, and I went home.
DP:Was he angry?
TH: No. We had a normal talk, a normal chat. It was all good.
DP:Will vuvuzelas come to MLS?
TH: I hope not. Nothing against it, but it wasn't always nice to hear when you're at the stadium.
DP:Were you rooting for Spain to win the World Cup?
TH: Yes, I was. I loved it. I had eight ex-teammates playing. I was very happy, because I think that was a team that was trying to play football. I think they deserved to win.
DP:France qualified for the World Cup with a late goal against Ireland that was set up by your handball. I'm Irish. Are you here to apologize?
TH: I said the game should have been replayed.
DP:Could it have been replayed?
TH: Yes, you could. They can make that decision. You know the  FA Cup final? Stephane Henchoz of Liverpool dove on the line and [hit] the ball over with his hand. The referee didn't see it, we didn't replay the game. They lifted the Cup right in front of me. I went home, and nobody cried for me. I'm just saying. You Irish guys [benefited from] a penalty against Georgia in qualification when it was never a penalty. I didn't see you guys crying for Georgia. That's the game. Let's face it: I wasn't proud of it. I did apologize for it. I said the game should be replayed. But I couldn't do more than that.
DP:Do you think there should be video replay in the World Cup?
TH: I think we need to put in video [replay]. How long will it take to watch the replay? Ten seconds. When you look at it, when there is a controversial goal or a controversial offside or that kind of thing, you lose more time arguing than if you would have showed the replay. Again, I'll say it: I do apologize to all the Irish fans. But I've lost games like this, and I've won one game like this.
• Joe? No Go
Peter Gammons of the MLB Network doesn't think that Joe Girardi will end up replacing Lou Piniella as the Cubs' manager. "He grew up a Cubs fan ... and it's played perfectly into his hand, because he can negotiate with the Yankees," Gammons told me. "I don't believe for a second that Hal Steinbrenner and [general manager] Brian Cashman will let him go, but this will make Joe a little more money." As for who might get the job, Gammons mentioned Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Valentine.
• Free Pass
Lance Armstrong finished 23rd in the Tour de France, but the bigger story surrounding him dealt with Floyd Landis's allegations that Armstrong had used PEDs. I asked listeners, If Armstrong did cheat, was it worth it because of all of the good Armstrong's seven Tour wins did in raising awareness and money for the fight against cancer? The results were interesting: 53% believed that if Armstrong cheated, it was worth it.
• Line of the week
Recently hired USC athletic director Pat Haden thinks the school should distance itself from controversial former running back Reggie Bush: "We want great players like Reggie Bush to continue to come to USC, we just [want to] win in the right way."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Peter King discusses NFL training camp storylines.
2. Kevin Love on the T-Wolves' hectic off-season.
THE FINE PRINT: See the season premiere of Mad Men? The ad agency takes a bold step in 1964 by signing its first pro-athlete endorser: Jamie Moyer.