Thierry Henry has been named the head coach of Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact on a two-year contract.
Henry, who has previously worked as an assistant for the Belgium national team and as Monaco coach, ended his playing career with the New York Red Bulls in 2014.
“It’s an honor to become head coach of the Montreal Impact and return to MLS,” Henry said. “It’s a league that I know well where I had a great time.
“Being in Quebec, in Montreal, which has a huge multicultural heritage, is something extraordinary. I have always had an eye on this club and now I am there.”
Henry won two Premier League titles in England with Arsenal and won La Liga, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with Barcelona.
During his four and a half seasons in MLS, Henry scored 51 goals and set up 42 in 122 games.
He was selected on the league Best XI three times and featured in four MLS All-Star Games.
Montreal has become something of a manager’s graveyard within the confines of MLS. The Impact have burned through six previous coaches — including caretaker manager Wilmer Cabrera — during their eight seasons in MLS. The team has posted a winning record only twice in its history, and finished with 12 wins, 17 losses and 5 draws in 2019.
Owner Joey Saputo has long had a reputation for meddling in the affairs of his managers, going so far as to make postgame visits to the locker room if he didn’t like what he saw on the field. But Henry’s stature in the world of soccer may be just what is needed for Saputo to back off.
And unlike most foreign managers in MLS, Henry’s time with the New York Red Bulls will make him well aware of the arcane roster rules and salary limitations that the league imposes. The Frenchman knows what he’s getting into.
Whether Henry has the patience to manage players far less talented than he was remains an open question. His time in Monaco was littered with reports of his airing his frustrations about his players, with Aleksandr Golovin revealing how Henry would jump into training if his players weren’t practicing well.
Henry was fired after just three and a half months in charge, winning just four games.