Thierry Henry resigns as coach of Montreal in MLS
CF Montreal lost a head coach and Major League Soccer (MLS) said goodbye to a marquee name with news yesterday that Thierry Henry was stepping down.
Citing family reasons, the 43-year-old former star striker said he was quitting the club after one season at the helm to return to London. Kevin Gilmore, Montreal's president and CEO, called it a "difficult day," but said Henry was leaving on good terms.
"I'm surprised but given the circumstances it doesn't shock me that this has happened, given what he went through last year," Gilmore said.
Separation from his children, plus the prospect of having to spend another season on the road due to pandemic-related travel restrictions contributed to Henry's decision.
"Last year was very difficult on this club across the board," said Gilmore. "But especially with those that had to spend the last four months of the season outside of Montreal. And the prospect of starting a season like that again is very difficult. And it's taken its toll on a lot of people. Obviously, it's taken its toll on Thierry and his children.
"He made a difficult decision - although I keep saying when you make decisions based on family, they're always good decisions - to stay in London and give up his position as the head coach of the club in order to be close to his family."
The announcement comes on the eve of training camp. Players report Monday for a seven-day quarantine period, medical exams and COVID-19 testing prior to the start of team training March 8. The MLS regular season kicks off on April 17.
Montreal said it would take a committee approach to coaching, led by assistant coach Wilfried Nancy, until a successor is found. The new head coach will take charge of a roster radically changed since last season: 11 players left and there are eight new faces.