Thierry Henry is coming back to Major League Soccer.
The Montreal Impact named Henry as its seventh head coach in the team’s MLS era Thursday morning. The 1998 World Cup champion signed a two-year deal with an option for the 2022 season.
“It’s an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS,” Henry said in a statement. “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.”
The Impact will present Henry at a news conference Monday. The Frenchman will report to his new club in mid-January as the team starts its training camp.
Henry, who ended his professional career with the New York Red Bulls, started his coaching endeavours with the Arsenal academy in 2015. He joined the Belgium men’s national team as an assistant coach in 2018, and he helped the team place third at the 2018 World Cup.
The 42-year-old then accepted his first ever head coaching job at Ligue 1 club AS Monaco in October 2018. Henry only remained at the club for half a season, as he was fired in January after accumulating a 4-5-11 record.
For the Impact, Henry succeeds Wilmer Cabrera as head coach. The club parted ways with him last month. Cabrera was brought on in August to replace Remi Garde, who was fired.
“We are extremely happy with the arrival of Thierry Henry,” Impact sporting director Oliver Renard said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to winning the 1998 World Cup, Henry was a Ballon d’Or finalist in 2003 and 2004. He won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and scored 228 goals for Arsenal. With Barcelona, the Frenchman won two La Liga titles, a Copa Del Rey, a FIFA Club World Cup title and a UEFA Champions League title.
“We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game,” Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore said. “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.”
Henry returns to MLS where he spent the last four and a half seasons of his career with the Red Bulls. Henry won the Supporter’s Shield in 2013, featured in the Best XI on three occasions and featured in the league’s annual all-star game four times. A captain for the Red Bulls, he scored 51 goals and had 42 assists across 122 contests.