MLS

Impact hire former Arsenal star Thierry Henry as head coach

The Montreal Impact have named former Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry as head coach. Henry will join the club on a a two-year deal, with an option for 2022. 

42-year-old joins the club on a 2-year deal

As France's all-time leading goal scorer, Thierry Henry netted 51 goals in 123 games while leading his country to titles at the World Cup and European championship. (Oscar Del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images)

The Montreal Impact have named former Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry as head coach. Henry will join the club on a a two-year deal, with an option for 2022. 

Henry will be formally introduced on Monday and will be at the helm of the team as of mid-January when training camp begins, the Impact said in a release.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore. "Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field.

"He 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."

Over the 42-year-old's illustrious 20-year playing career, Henry became the all-time leading scorer for both Arsenal and France and led his country to a 1998 World Cup title at home, followed by a EURO 2000 win.

Henry spent four-plus seasons in MLS with the New York Red Bulls, scoring 51 goals and adding 42 assists in 122 games. He won the Supporters' Shield in 2013 and was a four-time MLS all-star.

"It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS," Henry 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."

Henry retired in 2014 and quickly moved into coaching beginning with the Academy of English club Arsenal, then as a assistant with Belgium's national team. 

In 2018 Henry accepted a coaching position with French side AS Monaco, the club where his professional playing career began but was eventually dismissed in January.

"We are extremely happy with the arrival of Thierry Henry," said Impact sporting director Oliver Renard. "Young and dynamic, he's very familiar with MLS and meets the qualities we were looking for in our search. This nomination, two months before the start of camp in January, will give us a chance to build our squad with the man that will lead it."

Henry succeeds Wilmer Cabrera in the position. The Impact announced last month that Cabrera's contract had expired and would not be extended.

Cabrera had replaced the fired Remi Garde in August. Montreal missed the playoffs with a 12-17-5 record.

With files from CBC Sports

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