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OFFICIAL: CF Montreal coach Thierry Henry steps down due to family reasons

With Montreal expected to play a bunch of their games in the States again in 2021, Thierry Henry has decided to step down after two seasons in charge.

CD Olimpia v Montreal Impact - Leg 2: Quarterfinals - 2020 CONCACAF Champions League
Head coach Thierry Henry of Montreal Impact reacts during the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal game.
Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

TORONTO, Canada—One of Major League Soccer’s most iconic names is on his way out.

CF Montreal head coach Thierry Henry has stepped down from his position after a year-and-a-half in charge, citing family reasons amid a global pandemic.

“It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision,” said Thierry Henry in a statement released by the club. “The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children. Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different. The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montréal.”

“Thierry’s departure is unfortunate and premature because this was very promising, but he informed me of his desire to be back with his family because the situation was and remains very difficult for both him and his family,” added CF Montréal Sporting Director, Olivier Renard.

It’s hard not to feel for Henry, especially from a TFC perspective, as the Reds have been and are in a similar boat. With all of the uncertainty hovering around Canadian clubs and where they’ll play next season, Henry’s decision to step away and move back to London with his family is understandable.

One of the greatest footballers of all time, Henry’s tenure in Montreal was short-lived. The World Cup winner has been with the club since fall of 2019, posting a 9-4-16 overall record in MLS. Before Montreal, Henry was in charge of Monaco for 20 matches during the 2018-2019 season.

In 2020, he led CF Montreal to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season after a record of eight wins, 13 losses and two draws in a regular season marked by the pandemic including only three games at Stade Saputo. Under his leadership, the team had also reached the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League.

On Wednesday, it was announced that former TFC centreback Laurent Ciman would be retiring to move back home to Montreal and become an assistant coach. Unfortunately, it won’t be alongside his good friend and one of the greatest to ever grace the touchline at The Stade Saptuo, Thierry Henry.