Henry played 90 minutes in Suwon's 1-0 loss on Friday as the K-League returned to action. You can watch the full match below.
MLS and the USL Championship are at least a month away from a resumption of match action, and aside from Germany’s Bundesliga, most European leagues remain on coronavirus-imposed hiatus.
There is one North American pro hitting the pitch this weekend, however.
Canadian international and former Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps defender Doneil Henry is expected to be in the starting XI when his Suwon Bluewings visit Jeonbuk Motors FC on Friday for the opening match of the season in South Korea’s K League, one of the few on earth in a position to get underway again.
It’s a reflection of that nation’s impressive management of its COVID-19 outbreak, and another milestone in an unusual adventure for a player who’s had plenty of them in his career.
“We've been training, so we're all pretty much in good shape and healthy and fit. We're definitely excited to kick off tomorrow,” Henry told MLSsoccer.com Wednesday night, explaining how he’s weathered the tumult of a rapid introduction to a completely new culture and setting amid a global pandemic.
“I finally understand what it's like to be a foreigner, speaking a different language from the native tongue here,” he said, “with that adjustment and not understanding things and having to try and pick up as much as you can, as quickly as you can.
“It’s very different to what I'm used to, but it's a country that's built upon strong roots. So I had to do a lot of understanding, too, and compromising what I would usually do. But they allow me to still be myself … [and] I've picked up a few things that I really liked that they do here, and added it to my everyday life.”
Henry became the K League’s first Canadian last fall when he was transferred from the Whitecaps to Suwon for an undisclosed fee at the end of the MLS season. As 2019 Korean FA Cup winners, Bluewings qualified for this year’s AFC Champions League and he started in their first two matches in that competition.