We know where Waldo is, but where’s Henry?

STANFORD – Where’s Waldo?

Saturday night it was more like where’s Terry? Make that Thierry. No, where’s Henry? Well, all right, where’s Thierry Henry?

The New York Red Bulls bus pulled up to the backside of Stanford Stadium at about 6:15 p.m. and out popped the Red Bulls squad, many complete with the obligatory headphones. And as a crowd of a few hundred looked on and looked on and looked on there was no Mr. Henry to be seen.

Where he was was back at the hotel battling flu-like symptoms and unable to perform for the Red Bulls.

Of course, no one in the crowd of 41,000-plus was notified. Then again, there was no universal chant of “Where’s Henry?” either at any point during the couple of hours that the Red Bulls played to a 2-2 tie with the San Jose Earthquakes.

N.Y.’s leading scorer was absent, but not the hard-core soccer fans. And the real question was simply, “How?” As in how did this happen?

The Quakes struggle to fill the 10,000 seats at the stadium they call home, Buck Shaw in Santa Clara. So who were all these fans?

There was no international squad of note performing.

There was no Mexican team (they usually attract sold-out stadiums) playing.

It’s doubtful Henry’s name recognition attracted the 41 grand in the first place. He was very good, he’s still good, but he is not the attraction of say a Beckham or a Drogba or a Messi.

So, what gives?

Some of it had to do with the post-game fireworks. For some reason fireworks always draw a crowd. But 41 grand?

Some of did have to do with Henry. But 41 grand?

Some of it had to do with timing. It’s a holiday weekend and what better way to start it. But 41 grand?

Some of it had to do with marketing. The Quakes did a good job of promoting the game. But 41 grand?

Some of it had to do with ticket prices. Thirty bucks got you a good seat and face it, there isn’t a bad seat in the new and improved Stanford Stadium.

And some of it had to do with trotting out former U.S. national team members from the 1994 team. They included Marcelo Balboa, Tab Ramos, Cobi Jones, Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Fernando Clavijo.

But the bottom line is there probably is something out there that we’ve known all along – there is a huge interest in soccer. Getting that 41 grand, or something remotely close to it to show up on a semi-consistent basis is the trick.


Here take a look at Steven Lenhart’s goal in Saturday’s game and watch his antics on the goal afterward. The crowd erupted…