Harrison, NJ – Thierry Henry admitted he felt "pretty useless recently," after scoring a stunning goal on Wednesday in a victory against the Chicago Fire.
Henry converted a left-footed volley for his first goal since April 28, a span where he was limited to just four appearances and three starts mostly because of injuries.
"I had to do something," said Henry, who has 10 goals this season.
Now that Henry has found his scoring touch, New York will try to touch the top of the Eastern Conference on Saturday when it hosts the Philadelphia Union in the I-95 rivalry.
New York (10-5-5) used Henry's goal to edge Chicago, 1-0, and left the midweek fixtures just one point behind Sporting Kansas City in the East.
Unbeaten at Red Bull Arena with six wins and three draws - the Houston Dynamo are the only other unbeaten squad at home this season - New York won its first match since June 24 against Chicago.
"Three points (Wednesday) and hopefully," New York coach Hans Backe said, "on Saturday we can pick up a good result."
Sebastien Le Toux, who used to play for the Union, assisted on the Henry goal, and will play his old team for the second time this year. Traded to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the offseason, he just recently was traded again to New York.
"(The Union are) pretty good right now and we have to be tough and make sure we win the game," said Le Toux, who had 25 goals and 20 assists in two seasons with Philadelphia.
In addition to getting Henry on track, New York posted its first shutout since May 9, a span of nine matches.
"The first time in a while we got a clean sheet and that is what we wanted," said Backe.
Philadelphia (6-9-2) heads into the match on a three-match win streak, but it still sits just one point off the bottom of the East, albeit with three fewer games played than last-place Toronto FC.
The Union have been revived under John Hackworth, who replaced Petr Nowak as coach during the season. The Union have beaten the Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto FC, and the Montreal Impact in their last three.
Philadelphia also beat Sporting Kansas City in late June to start a run where it has won four of five.
The Union dropped a friendly to Aston Villa, 1-0, on Wednesday, but pulled off a miracle finish last weekend in MLS to defeat Montreal, 2-1. All three goals were scored after the 82nd minute, with Carlos Valdes notching the winner in stoppage time.
"I don't think anyone expected a goal in the last minute of the game," Valdes said. "I am very proud and happy for that to happen."
Now, Philadelphia has to get more results on the road as it is just 2-5-1 away from PPL Park. But Valdes believed the team will be confident after last week.
"I think it gives us great confidence. We are getting better because we trust in ourselves and each other and you know, we have less pressure now," he said.