Henry is Coming?

Even with MLS starting up over the weekend, most American soccer fans remain focused on South Africa.  However, as soon as the World Cup ends, the “silly season” starts with the international transfer window opening on July 15.  Prominent players from around the globe will be making moves and gearing up for the long European club seasons.  However, MLS promises to be a prominent player in the transfer market this year with new DP rules and the prospect of World Cup Stars coming state-side. At the same time, we could see some players heading out with multiple Landon Donovan rumors and the understanding that Jonathan Borenstein will move to Atlante.

As part of the incoming, it appears that the long rumored Thierry Henry signing is just days away, with multiple reports of his release from Barcelona.  Henry will now come to New York without a transfer.    At 32, Henry will immediately become the league’s 2nd most prominent player in history and will provide an instant shot of attention to the Red Bulls and MLS.  Unfortunately, the French implosion in South Africa and Henry’s limited role (two appearances off the bench), did little to boost his name recognition among casual fans.

It will be interesting to see how Henry’s image is used by league sponsors to market their products.  Will he become a household name to mainstream soccer fans?  Will companies other that Gillette pony up dollars to put Henry in front of American eyeballs?