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Thierry Henry rushes to defense of Major League Soccer

DC United v New York Red Bulls - Eastern Conference Semifinals

HARRISON, NJ - NOVEMBER 08: (Editor’s Note: This image has been converted to black and white) Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls on the field prior to the game against DC United during their Eastern Conference Semifinal match at Red Bull Arena on November 8, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

Getty Images for New York Red Bu

Everyone knows that Thierry Henry can score goals. As one of the select group of World Cup winners who have played in Major League Soccer, the guy clearly knows his way around a soccer field.

Everyone may not know that the former French international (and third all-time leading Premier League scorer) is a real student of the game, someone who watches soccer constantly, including ample video study of MLS.

So when he says something like this, it’s worth paying attention to:

In an ESPNFC.com interview, Henry issued a hand-waving (quintessentially French) dismissal to any and all who don’t see Major League Soccer as a high-quality operation.

So, phooey to you, negative Nellies.

People [in Europe] have the view of MLS that it’s an easy league, that you can come here and score goals and it’s going to be easy. I keep on telling them, ‘It’s not that easy.’ You have to perform, you have to show people here that you can play and they’ll give you your respect, but not before that.”

Henry also mentioned something that I have heard for years and years, but something that always seems to escape broader broadcast: travel across such a big land and performance in the long months of taxing heat is a big adjustment for so many European imports into MLS.

Follow @SteveDavis90