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Jesse Marsch in the USMNT job conversation

Leeds United decide to part ways with Jesse Marsch, opening the door for him to take over the United States head coaching job.

Leeds United decide to part ways with Jesse Marsch, opening the door for him to take over the United States head coaching job.

Jesse Marsch tried everything he could to make Leeds United a competitive team in the Premier League this year and the Whites decided to sack him due to the poor results in mid-season. Since the American coach left FC Red Bull Salzburg in 2021, he only won four of his 23 away games with six draws and 13 defeats, including the 1-0 loss against Nottingham Forest over the weekend.

Marsch was believed to be Marcelo Bielsa’s heir to the throne in Leeds, but the battle to avoid relegation has continued under his tenure. So Leeds have decided that it was time for change and Marsch was officially sacked on Monday morning. This now opens the door for him to throw his hat in the ring as a candidate for the USMNT job, which has remained vacant ever since the US Federation decided against extending Gregg Berhalter’s contract following the World Cup.

Is Marsch the right man for the job?

The American coach has experience in MLS after being in charge of CF Montréal and New York Red Bulls at the beginning of his coaching career. Marsch knows the league, the players, and he worked under Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley when they were managing the United States men’s national team during successful World Cup cycles.

Jesse Marsch’s numbers speak for themselves and he’s had a good run with the teams that he has managed abroad. When the 49-year-old moved away from MLS, he started as the assistant to RB Leipzig head coach Ralf Rangnick. During the 2018/19 campaign they finished in third place in the Bundesliga, securing a Champions League spot next season, and lost to Bayern Munich during the DFB-Pokal final.

The following season, Jesse Marsch was appointed as the head coach of Red Bull Salzburg and won the Austrian Bundesliga with a 68.75% win rate. He became the first American coach to win a top flight league in Europe and was promoted to the RB Leipzig job the following season replacing Julian Nagelsmann.

Marsch started working in the summer with the Bundesliga side but by December 2021 he left the job after finishing with a record of seven wins, four draws and six losses. Two months later, he took over the Leeds United job replacing Marcelo Bielsa, managing to avoid relegation that season by finishing in 17th place in the standings.

The Whites were aiming high this season and Marsch was going to rely on American players Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie to improve the team’s performance. The project has not shown signs of working and Leeds sacked him on February 6, finishing his Premier League tenure with a record of 11 wins, 16 defeats and 10 draws. With his experience, it leaves the US Soccer federation wondering if his high-press, offensive style is the right one for the USMNT in this new World Cup cycle.

Marsch’s style of playing is different from Berhalter and the federation has to analyze what this will mean to the USMNT looking forward with the Nations League, Gold Cup and Copa América tournaments right around the corner. Will he have enough time to implement a new system for the players to understand and perform, or will the US Soccer federation decide to find someone with a style more suited to a Berhalter-designed squad?

What is clear is that with the names being reported in the past few weeks, US Soccer is looking to hire either an American coach or someone with vast experience in MLS. The only foreign-born coach that has been hired by the USMNT in the past 28 years is Jurgen Klinsmann and at the end of his tenure things got ‘heated’ between players and the federation.


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