No, I’m not referring to the heartwarming and hilarious comedy show on Apple TV, Ted Lasso. I’m talking about Jesse Marsch. Jesse’s rise to being a manager in what is arguably the toughest football league in the world is just as heartwarming and inspiring as the hit TV show.
Jesse’s footballing career began at Princeton where he was an All-American Midfielder for the Tigers. He then went on to play for three different MLS clubs racking up over 300 appearances in the United State’s top league. His professional career began in 1996, the inaugural season of the league, and spanned 14 years, his last game being played in 2009. In total, he netted 31 goals over his decade and a half-long playing career. From there, he ventured into coaching.
After a year off, he began to work with the National Team as an assistant. His former college and club coach, Bob Bradley brought him under his wing. He spent about a year with the national team before being handed the reigns of then expansion team, Montreal Impact.
Marsch spent a full season there before an amicable split, that saw him end up as the head coach of New York Red Bulls, a move that would prove pivotal in his climb as a manager. New York Red Bulls, is owned by the energy drink company we all know, Red Bull. Red Bull also owns two other football clubs, RB Salzburg in Austria, and RB Leipzig in Germany. After two and a half seasons in New York, Marsch made the leap to Leipzig where he was an assistant under the current interim manager of Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick. Just a year later, he was promoted to head coach of Austrian-based Salzburg. Marsch spent two years as manager of the Austrian team, posting an impressive 68% win percentage.
He was promoted again to become the head coach of the German-based Red Bull squad, Leipzig, where he didn’t quite enjoy the same success that he saw in Austria. Spending less than half a season there, and only 21 games in charge, he was dropped as manager after the squad failed to maintain expectations.
That (Leeds) us to today. Sorry for that. Just a week or so ago, legendary coach Marcelo Bielsa was released by Leeds United, after a disappointing start to the 2021-2022 Premier League campaign. Insert Jesse Marsch. Marsch was selected to become the next manager at Leeds United- one of the biggest clubs in England- and assigned the task of keeping them in the Premier League. This is an absolutely massive stepping stone in his career and an inspiration for the entire country in terms of football (soccer) progress.
Twenty years ago, it would have been unfathomable to think that an American could or ever would be the manager of a Premier League squad. Yet here we are.
Leeds lost their first game under his guidance but seemingly improved upon their recent performances in which they had been conceding goals like it was what they were supposed to do. Over their last five matches, Leeds had conceded 20 goals/game. Today they conceded just the one, whilst being a little unlucky to not find the back of the net.
Leeds’ are currently 16th in the table, just three points from the safety of relegation. They have 11 matches to go in the competition after today’s match with Leicester City. I’ll be one of Marsch’s biggest supporters from across the pond, and will watch every match that I can.