Thierry Henry Rajon Rondo Rafa Marquez Red Bull Content Pool

Despite the Boston Celtics losing to the New Jersey Nets 88-70, Boston’s point guard Rajon Rondo experienced a post-game treat to lift his spirits … and no, we’re not talking a pint at the local pub to drown his sorrows. Not that Rondo or the Celtics would need it. Boston is, after all, sitting pretty second in the Eastern Conference, trailing Chicago by a hair.

Post game in the locker room, Rajon Rondo had the opportunity to meet for the first time fellow athletes and New York Red Bulls soccer stars Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. Thierry, a huge basketball fan, and Rafa, at his first NBA game, ever, sat courtside for the game and the three discussed the big plays and tactics, sharing a mutual respect for each others sport. Surprisingly still, several of the other Celtics and Nets players recognized Henry and Marquez, stars in their own sport, striking up conversations with the two Red Bulls. Who says soccer isn’t popular in the U.S.?

Thierry Henry in Action

With the Celtics in the home stretch of the season, guaranteed a ticket to the Playoffs, the Red Bulls are in contrast at the very beginning of theirs -- the 2011 MLS season starts this Saturday for them. Following the Celtics-Nets game, Thierry and Rafa had their first scheduled appearance at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, on Tuesday, for training and the formal media day.

After the name change from the MetroStars to the Red Bulls in 2006, the 2010 season saw tremendous change for the New York/New Jersey-based soccer team. A new stadium, new head coach, new players including the French Thierry Henry and Mexican Rafa Marquez, resulted in a season that saw a first place finish in the Eastern Conference and a MLS record for best single season improvement. With all of the elements starting to coalesce, the 2011 season looks to be a promising one for the New York Red Bulls.

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