SAN JOSE -- Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch has a signed Thierry Henry jersey from when the French star played for famed club Arsenal.
Defenders Jason Hernandez and Justin Morrow recalled watching on TV as the lethal goal scorer torched the world's best players in Europe.
But they won't be intimidated Sunday night when Henry and the loaded New York Red Bulls (0-0-1) make their only visit to Buck Shaw Stadium this season.
"It's fun, it's a challenge," Morrow said. "You take that challenge and embrace it."
The Quakes (0-1-0) face the Red Bulls and their array of international stars with a patchwork lineup while at least five regulars are recovering from injuries.
On paper it looks like a mismatch.
New York's rookie coach, Mike Petke, though, expects nothing less than a difficult early season test against a team looking for points after opening the Major League Soccer campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake last weekend.
"I don't look at that first result and sit back and relax in the least bit," Petke said.
If for nothing else than the fact the Earthquakes feature Chris Wondolowski, the league's reigning MVP.
While Henry, 35, has succeeded at storied European clubs Arsenal, Barcelona and Juventus, Danville's Wondolowski has become a bona fide American star in San Jose.
He has scored 61 goals from 2010-12 and became the Quakes' second-ever designated player when recently signing a contract worth $600,000.
"You cannot take your eye off him, not even for a second," Petke said.
Busch has similar advice for San Jose defenders who will be tested by Argentine Fabian Espindola, Australian Tim Cahill and Henry. All are proven goal scorers like Wondolowski. Another New York scorer, Brazilian Juninho, will most likely miss the trip with a left calf strain, Major League Soccer reports.
"Those guys can drift around for 85, 89 minutes and not be involved in the game much but give them one minute and they can bury you," Busch said.
Henry and former L.A. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham were Major League Soccer's first breakout stars -- players who transcend soccer. They brought legitimacy to the American league now in its 18th season.
Quakes coach Frank Yallop appreciates what Henry continues to bring to the game.
"If you watch him play, he just knows the game inside out," Yallop said. "To be the top goal scorer at Arsenal, that's something else. That never goes from you."
Petke also is ushering in the era of Juninho, a midfielder who played in the 2006 World Cup for Brazil and once led Lyon to seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles.
"The one thing about the stars we have, they are extremely competitive and want to succeed," Petke said. "They make it that much easier for me. One thing they understand, especially Thierry, talent is only part of the equation in a system like MLS."
San Jose has no one with the pedigree of Henry, Juninho or Cahill, who once played at Everton of the EPL.
With journeyman forward Mike Fucito suffering from a slight hamstring muscle strain, the Quakes might counter with Sam Garza, who played at UC Santa Barbara two years ago.
"Now it is the flipping of the switch of trying to deal with them as just another opponent," Hernandez said of New York's stars.
Easy to say, much more difficult to do with all that talent.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.