American coach Jesse Marsch has been named the new head coach of RB Leipzig for the 2021-22 season.
A report from German sports magazine Kicker had the news on Wednesday, and Leipzig have now confirmed that the former USMNT player and assistant coach will move from Salzburg to Leipzig this summer to replace the outgoing Julian Nagelsmann.
The American coach, 47, has signed a two-year deal until 2023 to take charge of Leipzig and has now completed the main Red Bull set, moving up the ladder step-by-step to be the head coach of New York, Salzburg and now Leipzig.
Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said the following about Marsch’s appointment.
“In Jesse Marsch, we have been able to recruit our main head coach target and quickly fill the most important position in the sporting side of the club with a top coach,” Mintzlaff said. “Jesse has been part of the Red Bull football group for over six years now and has done incredible work in all his roles so far, constantly developing step-by-step. It’s of course a great advantage that he already worked for a year at RB Leipzig.
“Jesse knows the club, the city of Leipzig and, above all, the club and playing philosophy. Alongside his qualities as a coach, Jesse is characterised above all by his positively ambitious style, which he uses to motivate and engage the people and around the club. We’re looking forward to working with Jesse Marsch and to continuing our successful path with him.”
Best possible fit for Marsch?
The initial report also claimed that Marsch turned down the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job to remain part of the Red Bull family of clubs and move into the organization’s top job this summer, replacing Bayern Munich-bound boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Marsch arrived at Red Bull Salzburg in the summer of 2019 (after three years at New York Red Bulls, plus a yearlong sabbatical in between where he spent time on the coaching staff at Leipzig) and immediately went to work to win over the fans in Austria. RB Leipzig hired Nagelsmann away from Hoffenheim that same summer.
Marsch’s familiarity with the Red Bull organization is said to have played an important part in his appointment, beating out Stuttgart’s Italian-American boss Pellegrino Matarazzo and Wolfsburg’s Oliver Glasner as CEO Oliver Mintzlaff’s other two top candidates.
Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Bundesliga title last season and look set to repeat, but Marsch’s most memorable accomplishment to date came last season, in the fall of 2019, when they weren’t a million miles off advancing from the group stage of the UEFA Champions League despite having Liverpool and Napoli in their group.
The thrilling 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield was one to remember and it undoubtedly put Marsch on the rest of Europe’s radar.
What does the mean for American soccer?
The RB Leipzig job is one of the 15 most important — not necessarily the biggest, but most important — jobs anywhere in Europe, when you take into account the resources available, on-field expectations and the development and flow of world-class talent to the dozen or so bigger clubs throughout Europe.
All of the above is true and not at all an exaggeration, and the club described above is now coached by an American.
This is huge news for Marsch, and American soccer, as the reputation of U.S. players and coaches continues to rise across Europe.