'I know the players' - Thierry Henry open to USMNT job as Arsenal icon says he's desperate for return to manager role
- Henry quizzed about USMNT interest
- French legend is familiar with player pool
- USMNT likely to be without coach until summer
WHAT HAPPENED? Henry is very familiar with American soccer, having played for the New York Red Bulls before managing in MLS with CF Montreal.
The USMNT, meanwhile, is currently without a manager after Gregg Berhalter's contract expired after the World Cup. A hire is not expected until the summer, with U.S. Soccer first needing to replace sporting director Earnie Stewart and general manager Brian McBride, but Henry says he's at least open to the idea of leading the Stars and Stripes.
WHAT THEY SAID: "Would I put my name in the hat? First and foremost, that's a tricky one to talk about," Henry said on CBS/Paramount+. "Roberto Martinez went to coach Portugal and I'm not going with him. Being a number two is no longer something I would like to do. Massive respect for the boss, he gave me an opportunity when no one else did. I'd like to have a crack [at management] again."
Henry continued: "Do I know the [American] players? Yeah, I know the players. Do I know the league? Yeah, I know the league. It's a different ballgame to talk about it now like that, but would I want to be a manager at any level? Yes, of course, that's something I would want to do. But to go back to the U.S. national team and the U.S. in general, what's the plan? What's the philosophy? What do you want to be?"
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Henry had been Martinez's assistant with Belgium from 2021 through the end of the World Cup, having previously served in the role from 2016-18. After his initial stint, he took over at his former club, Monaco, for 20 matches before then taking the job in Montreal. However, after leading the club to a playoff berth, Henry stepped down ahead of the 2021 season, citing a desire to be closer to his family after being unable to see them during the coronavirus pandemic.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? With interim boss Anthony Hudson still leading the charge, the U.S. will return for Nations League matches in March as they take on Grenada and El Salvador.
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