The MLS community took to Twitter on Monday following news that Thierry Henry would not be returning to the New York Red Bulls for the 2015 season.
Henry, 37, spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Red Bulls after arriving from Barcelona in July 2010, recording 51 goals and 42 assists in 122 regular-season appearances, while also helping the team to the 2013 Supporters' Shield - their first-ever major piece of silverware.
With his contract now up after the club were eliminated from the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday with a 4-3 aggregate defeat to the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship, the Frenchman announced his departure on his official Facebook account, writing:
I am taking this opportunity to announce that unfortunately Saturday was my last game for the New York Red Bulls. The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract and although that was never going to change, I didn't want it to distract from the progress of the team.
I have immensely enjoyed my four and half years here and would like to thank everyone involved with this club who has made my time here so enjoyable.
Thanks must go particularly to Erik Soler, Hans Backe, Gerard Houllier, Andy Roxburgh, Mike Petke, all my team mates, the technical staff, medical staff, all the personnel who work for the Redbull organisation, the MLS and of course the owner Mr Mateschitz whose vision and passion brought me to this wonderful city.
A special mention must go to the Redbull fans who have supported this team through the good, the bad and the ugly times in the sun, rain and snow. You guys have really meant a lot to me and thank you for all your wonderful support.
I will now take the next few weeks to reflect and decide on the next chapter of my career.
Thank you all
Having stopped short of calling time on his decorated career, it remains to be seen what Henry’s next move will be, with plenty of Arsenal fans no doubt desperate to see him return to the Emirates Stadium for one final hurrah.
Wherever he ends up, though, he will certainly be big loss to MLS, with numerous fans, friends, media members and teammates moved to hail his impact on the league.
thank you thierry for all your hard work and dedication to NYRB. you will forever be a new york legend #ThanksTH14— Jonathan Ortiz (@JonOrtiz00) December 1, 2014
Feel really fortunate that I got to see Thierry Henry ply his craft up close & personal. Great guy, both on & off the field. #ThanksTH14— Raf Noboa y Rivera (@noboa) December 1, 2014
Beckham ushered in the Designated Player era. Henry ushered in the era where Designated Players led by example. #thanksth14— Jay Bell (@JayBellHS) December 1, 2014
Like everyone else, I'm just happy to have seen Henry play, especially in the flesh. Special players like him elevate the sport. #ThanksTH14— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) December 1, 2014
Players like Henry, who demand the best of everyone and lead by example, are so very rare. A true competitor in every sense. #ThanksTH14— Mark Fishkin (@MarkFishkin) December 1, 2014
I’m thankful I got to see Thierry Henry in person at least a couple times during his 4 1/2 year run. #ThanksTH14— Drew Epperley (@wvhooligan) December 1, 2014