Houllier believes Henry will retire; Henry remains mum

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls match against Arsenal has always seemed oddly timed, especially considering it is Thierry Henry’s final contract year.

Did the world just unwittingly witness a tribute match? Perhaps — at least if you take Gerard Houllier’s word for it.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the Red Bulls’ Global Director of Soccer said he believed this would indeed be Henry’s last year as a professional player.

“I’ll have a talk with Thierry soon and of course I’ll know. I have an idea — I think he wants to retire,” Houllier said. “I think he wants to retire but we need to check with him.”

While not shocking, the revelation is a bit surprising. Henry, who will be 37 next month, has spent most of the 2014 season deflecting questions about his future, only offering that his focus is on the current MLS campaign and that he is undecided about his next career move.

Asked about Houllier’s comments after Satuday’s Arsenal friendly, Henry stuck with his narrative.

“Oh, he said that?” Henry said, adding, “There is nothing more to say. That is what I said. We will talk more at the end of the season.”

Henry joined the Red Bulls midway through the 2010 campaign. The captain played a major part in helping the Red Bulls win their first ever club trophy, the Supporters’ Shield, just last year. He is also the team’s all-time assist leader with 37 tallies. He is currently on pace to break Eduardo Hurtado’s season assist record of 14 as well (Henry has 10 through 20 matches).