Jesse Marsch, fired by Leeds, might be front-runner for USMNT job

Jesse Marsch was sacked by Leeds United on Monday, the English Premier League club announced. The American manager probably won’t be unemployed for long.

Marsch’s somewhat surprising sacking, while Leeds have struggled this season, the club having just spent nearly $50m on new players they wanted, including American midfielder Weston McKennie, is set to make him the instant front-runner to fill the vacant U.S. coaching job. the men’s team, one that will compete in a World Cup played at home in just over three years.

That may seem like a bold statement given the current leadership vacuum within US Soccer, which will be without a sporting director at least until the summer once incumbent Earnie Stewart departs next week to take a similar position with the Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven.

However, whoever ends up being appointed to make football decisions for the federation, Marsch should be at the top of the list of candidates.

Of course, Marsch has lost some of his luster after being dumped mid-season by clubs in Europe’s top five leagues twice in 14 months. There are legitimate questions about whether he is too committed to the high-pressing system he insisted on at both Leeds and German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

But the 49-year-old also ticks a lot of boxes. Marsch began his coaching career with the USMNT, serving as Bob Bradley’s assistant at the 2010 World Cup. He has far more experience than Gregg Berhalter, who just led the Americans to the Round of 16 in Qatar 2022, when he was hired four years earlier.

England is the fifth country in which Marsch has been head coach; he has also worked in Austria, Canada and the United States. He has won trophies: two MLS Supporters Shields and back-to-back league and cup doubles in two seasons with Red Bull Salzburg. The Racine, Wash., native has also coached in the Champions League, where he combined wits with some of the best coaches in the sport.

And Marsch obviously knows the American player pool inside out; three members of the Leeds squad, McKennie, Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, were in Berhalter’s 26-man squad for last year’s World Cup.

Last month, a U.S. soccer source told FOX Sports that the federation would “have a wide net of options” for the next American coach. (On Jan. 26, federation president Cindy Parlow Cone confirmed that Berhalter, the subject of an independent investigation into a 31-year-old domestic incident with his now-wife, remains a candidate to return.)

While bold international names like Zinedine Zidane and Jose Mourinho have been linked with the U.S. opener, there is a sense that having an American in charge is preferable to a mercenary for the USSF heading into the Cup of the 2026 World, which the United States will collaborate. -host with Canada and Mexico. That Marsch is an engaging and charismatic personality who understands the opportunity the tournament presents and can sell the sport to a still skeptical general public is another mark in his favor.

So is the fact that he really wants the job.

“They’re young, they’re athletic, they can play with intensity. It would be a fun team to coach,” Marsch told the Yorkshire Evening Post in December. “When I say these things, everyone thinks I’m posturing, but it’s like looking at it from a coach’s perspective. You could see how much fun it would be to work with these young, talented, aggressive and fearless players every day . . .

Marsch is still unlikely to have voluntarily given up a Premier League gig, even to lead his country at a World Cup held in the United States. to be around $3 million, or nearly three times what Berhalter earned, which was not a given. Any top foreign coach will have a similar figure, assuming landing is even realistic. Marsch, who like Berhalter has a reputation as a player coach, can probably be had for less than that now that he’s available.

If life is a matter of timing, it’s easy to see how the stars align for both parties. Marsch does not lack admirers within the federation; Any remaining resentment stemming from the manner of Bradley’s unceremonious removal in 2011 is ancient history now. Those who were running US Soccer back then are gone; Cone and USSF CEO JT Batson are the third people to hold their respective positions since then.

Berhalter did well to get the USMNT off the mat and back into the World Cup after failing to qualify for 2018. He even led the young Americans to the knockout stages. It also comes with significant baggage now, regardless of how the investigation turns out. The next athletic director will probably want to start over.

Hiring Marsch would provide one. He is uniquely qualified for the position. And as his time at Leeds ended, he also has something to prove.

Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By Doug McIntyre.

FOX Sports Top Stories:

Get more from the United States Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more

Source link

Leave a Comment