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French soccer icon Thierry Henry named coach of MLS' Montreal Impact

By Alex Butler
French soccer icon Thierry Henry named coach of MLS' Montreal Impact
Thierry Henry had coaching stops at AS Monaco, Arsenal and the Belgian men's national team before being hired Thursday to coach the Montreal Impact. Photo by Sebastien Nogier/EPA-EFE

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- French soccer legend Thierry Henry has been named the coach of Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact.

Henry signed a two-year contract with the franchise Thursday. The 42-year-old retired from professional soccer in 2014 before becoming an academy coach at Premier League club Arsenal in 2015. He also served as an assistant coach for the Belgian national team. Henry was named manager at Ligue 1 club AS Monaco in 2018, before being fired in January.

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"It's an honor to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS," Henry said in a news release. "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 began his decorated playing career in 1994 at Monaco before stops at Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona. He played for the New York Red Bulls in MLS from 2010 to 2013. He is considered one of the best strikers of all time.

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The Impact will host an introductory news conference for Henry Monday in Montreal. He will lead the team during training camp in mid-January.

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"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," Montreal 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.

"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."

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The Impact fired coach Remi Garde in August, before replacing him with Wilmer Cabrera. The Impact parted ways with Cabrera in October. The Impact finished ninth in the Eastern Conference this season, with 12 wins, five draws and 17 losses. Montreal has posted a winning record in just two of the franchise's eight seasons in MLS. The Impact began MLS play as an expansion team in 2012.

Henry's pact with the Impact includes an option for the 2022 season.

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