Montreal's Piette intrigued by Thierry Henry hire: "Everybody back home is excited"

ORLANDO, Fla. – Samuel Piette was officially off the clock at full time of Canada’s 4-1 Concacaf Nations League loss to the United States on Friday night at Exploria Stadium.

But even in his time off after a long season for club and country, Piette will undoubtedly be paying attention on Monday when the Montreal Impact officially introduce Thierry Henry as head coach.

“It’s a big announcement with Henry as the coach,” said Piette. “I don’t know the guy. Well, I know him, but not as a coach. We’ll see when we get back together in January.”

The appointment of the former New York Red Bulls star has Montreal talking about soccer in the time of year when the NHL’s Canadiens dominate the sporting landscape.

Henry received a warm welcome on Saturday night at the Molson Centre as the Habs hosted the New Jersey Devils.

For a team that’s missed the playoffs three years in a row, Henry’s arrival is attracting the attention of the larger sporting community in a powerful way.

“For me, it’s the biggest marketing announcement that they could have made,” said Piette. “Football-wise, we’ll see in the year to come. But I know everybody back home is excited. He’s a legend, so it’s going to be really exciting to have him on our bench and hopefully we can do great things with him on our side.”

The appointment has naturally raised eyebrows. For all his achievements with the biggest clubs in the game and the French national team, Henry’s managerial record is short and less than stellar.

He was dismissed after picking up just four wins in 20 games in a brief stint with AS Monaco. That was his only first-team coaching experience after coaching Arsenal’s youth teams before becoming an assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

For now, at least, there’s a buzz around the Impact and it will likely grow right up until the team takes the field for the 2020 season.