Ballouchy lauded by NYRB’s Henry

Former Colorado Rapids midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy has been lauded by New York Red Bulls teammate Thierry Henry.

The French striker has been impressed by the 27-year old Moroccan, who he says plays a similar role to former Barcelona colleague Rafael Marquez, but more advanced.

“What Rafa does for us - dropping, getting the ball, calming the game, giving us always solutions to give him the ball at the back, reassuring people - Mehdi does that higher,'' Henry said. "I think it is important. Rafa was doing it at the back, but he couldn’t be also higher up in the midfield, so sometimes we were missing that link between the midfield and the center forwards.

"I just think whatever Rafa does at the back, midfield-back, he does it midfield-forward. He's always available, always wanting the ball, moving, creating something. He's a football player.

“I love to say he's a player, a proper player.''