Montreal, Canada — Everything has seemingly come full-circle for Thierry Henry. After ending his playing career in 2014, the former striker moved on to coaching.
Henry ended his playing career in Major League Soccer, featuring for the New York Red Bulls from 2010-14. Now, he’s back in the league, but as a coach. On Thursday morning, the Montreal Impact announced Henry as their next manager.
The addition to the coaching staff comes after Henry coached the Monaco from 2018-19. Prior to joining Monaco, he served as an assistant with Belgium from 2016-18.
“It’s an honor to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS,” Henry, who holds a UEFA Pro license, said. “It’s a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it’s extraordinary. I’ve always kept an eye on the club and now I’m here.”
A former player with Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona, Henry tallied more than 280 goals in his playing career. He represented the French National Team from 1997-2010, scoring 51 goals in 123 appearances. France became World Cup champions in just Henry’s second year with the program, in 1998. He was also a runner-up in 2006. Henry was also in the final three for the Ballon d’Or award twice.
Impact President and CEO Kevin Gilmore called Henry a legend.
“Henry will bring a new energy to our club,” Gilmore said. “He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. [Henry] is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be.”
De Barcelone à Montréal ⚽️
— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) November 14, 2019
- Thierry Henry can build a once lost program: There’s no way to skirt around it. Montreal has not found success in quite some time. Despite being named the Canadian Championship winners this season, they have not qualified for the playoffs since 2016. Something needs to turn around for Montreal, and Henry can bring a new wave of fresh air.
- He has talent to work with: The talent on Montreal’s roster could produce some results. Evan Bush is a solid goalkeeper. Daniel Lovitz finds himself receiving national team call ups in spurts. Saphir Taïder led the team with nine goals. Henry should look to build on that roster, but also grow with the players he has. It’s time to get some standout Canadians into the mix, too.
- Let’s see what he’s got: Henry’s time at Monaco was short. His MLS time-span is just starting. There’s no clue to what type of manager he’s going to be in the physical, less tactical American league. It’s time for fans to take a deep breath and see what he’s got. Remember, fans were calling for Frank de Boer‘s head, and he took Atlanta to the Eastern Conference finals this year.