Ex-Arsenal star Thierry Henry has been appointed coach at Major League Soccer franchise Montreal Impact on a two-year contract, the Canadian club announced Thursday.
Henry, whose baptism of fire as a manager ended in disaster at French club Monaco when he was fired in January, will coach the Canadian club for a minimum of two seasons, Montreal Impact said.
“Henry signed a two-year deal, with an option for 2022,” the club said on its website.
Henry, 42, who helped France win the World Cup in 1998, is familiar with the MLS, having played from 2010 to 2014 with the New York Red Bulls.
He scored 51 goals and had 42 assists in 122 games with the club.
“It’s an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS,” said Henry. “It’s a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments.”
“I’ve always kept an eye on the club and now I’m here.”
Henry becomes the seventh coach of the Montreal Impact, succeeding Colombian Wilmer Cabrera, who was acting coach for two months after the dismissal in August of French coach Remi Garde. The former Lyon coach arrived in Montreal in November 2017.
The Frenchman made his name as a world-class player at English club Arsenal. In the Premier League alone he scored 175 goals in 258 appearances.
He played in four World Cups with the French national team (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), winning the tournament in 1998 on home soil.
He is France’s all-time leading scorer with 51 goals in 123 games, in front of Michel Platini.
Henry’s hiring is expected to help revitalize the Montreal Impact, which has struggled over the years to score big, missing the playoffs in 2019 after finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference.
The team has long been overshadowed by its stronger Canadian rival, Toronto FC, which lost 3-1 to the Seattle Sounders in the 2019 MLS Cup on Sunday.
In Montreal, Henry reunites with his former France teammate Bacary Sagna and former Barcelona team-mate Bojan Krkic.
“Henry will bring a new energy to our club,” Impact president Kevin Gilmore said in a statement.
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