Americans are taking their coaching expertise to the Bundesliga.
New Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch became the second American in charge of a team in Germany’s top football division after Stuttgart’s Pellegrino Matarazzo.
“The best way to represent our football back home, and the pride I have of being an American and a big part of MLS (Major League Soccer) — that being a big part of my story — is just to honour what I think needs to be done and to try to work as hard as I possibly can,” Marsch said in a video conference call with journalists this week.
The Wisconsin native is taking over from Julian Nagelsmann, who left for Bayern Munich after helping Leipzig arguably become its biggest challenger. Leipzig finished runner-up to Bayern last season, and third the season before that. It has qualified for the Champions League the last three seasons.
The club’s performance is commendable, considering that it was founded by energy drinks company Red Bull only in 2009. Now, Red Bull wants the 47-year-old Marsch to take Leipzig another step further in its development.
“One of the most exciting things about being here is how truly talented this team is,” Marsch said. “Then it’s just about trying to help them achieve potential. And if we do that, then we believe at the end of the season, like last year, we can be competing for some really big, big things.”
Marsch is no stranger to Leipzig having served as coach Ralf Rangnick’s assistant in 2018-19, when the team finished third and reached the German Cup final. Marsch previously coached MLS’ New York Red Bulls from 2015-18, earning coach of the year honours in 2015.
He left Leipzig to take over sister club Red Bull Salzburg as head coach in 2019. He led the Austrian team to successive league and cup doubles. Now, he is back in Germany, keen to continue his own development.
Marsch will face Matarazzo when Leipzig hosts Stuttgart on August 20.