The $20 million decoy?
April 13, 2011
859 minutes, two goals scored. 871 minutes, two goals scored. Can you tell to which players the above numbers belong to? The attached picture is a giveaway, of course.
The first number belongs to Thierry Henry, his total for the 2010 regular season. The second to Sergio Galvan Rey, his total for 2004. The same Sergio Galvan Rey that after that season was called the worst signing in team history. Oh, but that same Sergio Galvan Rey scored twice in his second game of 2005. Not so for Thierry Henry.
"Stop right there!", we're hearing the yells already. "Are you suggesting that Henry is as bad as Galvan Rey was?" No, we're not. Outside of his lack of scoring, Henry had some good moments last season. But if you look at the above numbers, they are eerily similar, don't they?
And the similarities go beyond the numbers. Both were ballyhooed signings, top scorers where they came from. Both cost an arm and a leg to acquire (Henry's 4.5-year deal is valued at $20 million, Galvan Rey, when one accounts for transfer fees and salaries, came up to $1 million -- an insane amount for MLS at the time). Both were expected to carry the offense. Galvan Rey didn't. Henry? The jury is still out. That's the main difference.
What prevents Galvan Rey from making the list of Metro's all time worst signings was his second and final season with the club. After that brace in his second game, he ended up with eight goals in all competitions. But he definitely wasn't the scorer and leader we expected him to be. That team belonged to Amado Guevara and Youri Djorkaeff, and Galvan Rey was reinvented as third striker/midfielder. And at the end, eight goals was not a bad tally.
For right now, we're hoping for that total for Henry. Oh, sure, he says all the right things. He is here to help his teammates. He is not a tourist. He is here to win. Great. But it's one thing to say all the right things, and another to show up when the game starts. And so far this season, he hasn't.
From the missed penalty kick vs Seattle to a terrible game in Philadelphia, Henry has been below average this season. And now a nagging Achilles injury might shelf him this week and beyond. The sad thing is, one doesn't hear many fans crying about it.
It's hard to hear cries about a striker who spends a large portion of the game in midfield. It's hard to hear cries about a striker who whiffs on the few chances he gets. It's hard to hear cries about a striker who often looks disinterested out there.
But we haven't given up on Thierry Henry yet. The season is only four games old, and there's still enough time for him to pick up his game. We hope he becomes more than a $20 million decoy. We hope. We hope...
And Sergio Galvan Rey? Well, at least he made his penalty kicks.