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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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NY's Thierry Henry says RSL is 'far ahead' of his Red Bulls at this point

Amid all of the early-season turmoil surrounding his underperforming team, count the legendary Thierry Henry among the fans of Real Salt Lake.

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During post-practice critiques of his New York Red Bulls this week, the French striker told reporters that RSL "is far ahead of us."

"For me, I said it for a very long time," he said. "They are, if not with L.A., the best team in this league — by a distance. It’s not a coincidence that we didn’t beat them yet since I’m here. Not a lot of teams beat Salt Lake, especially at their place. It’s going to be a difficult task. Talent is not enough, and you know it and I know it. We just have to work."

The Red Bulls have been answering tough questions since a season-opening loss at FC Dallas that exposed many of the same problems that plagued them last season, including defensive mistakes and Henry having to drop farther into midfield to get the ball.

The Red Bulls seem to lack on-field leadership and direction, heading into their visit to RSL for its season-opener at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night. RSL has never lost a home opener (3-0-4) and is riding a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) against the Red Bulls.

"It is a team effort, and it has got to be a team effort if you want to win something," Henry said. "Then the individuals, every now and then, step up, but other than that it has got to be a team effort. I’ve said that for a very long time. Who scored for Salt Lake? First one [Sebastian] Velasquez, then [Fabian] Espíndola, then another day it can be someone else. It’s not about who, what DP, no DP. It is a team effort and everybody — from Fernando the kit man to us — everybody has to pull the same weight and sometimes we don’t."

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