Jesse Marsch returns to RB Leipzig having enjoyed a successful season at the club as assistant to Ralf Rangnick in 2018/19. - © imago images
Jesse Marsch returns to RB Leipzig having enjoyed a successful season at the club as assistant to Ralf Rangnick in 2018/19. - © imago images

5 things on RB Leipzig's new American coach Jesse Marsch


RB Leipzig have confirmed the appointment of American coach Jesse Marsch as successor to Bayern Munich bound Julian Nagelsmann, but who is the new man in the Red Bull Arena dugout? picks out five things from Marsch's career so far that should help you get to know the Wisconsin-native a little better before he arrives in the German top-flight next term.

1. A former USA international

Marsch emerged as an All-American in his senior year at Princeton in 1995, winning two Ivy League championships and making it to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament while leading the line for the University.

He was then drafted by DC United ahead of the MLS' inaugural season in 1996 and also represented Chicago Fire and Chivas USA - winning the MLS Cup in both Washington and Chicago - while picking up two caps for his country as a player.

Jesse Marsch (c., r.) began life as a striker but enjoyed success as a player after moving into central midfield. - ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

After 14-years in the MLS, Marsch - who moved from a striker in his college days to a central midfielder as a professional - hung up his boots in February 2010, having made 321 MLS regular season appearances and featured 37 times in the playoffs.

"I was not the most talented guy but I was always a strong presence in the team," he told Sky Sports last year. "I knew that if everyone else around me was a better player, I would be a better player. That was a fundamental that I understood early in my playing career."

2. Bob Bradley's protege

It was legendary American coach Bob Bradley - a fellow former Princeton alumni - that plucked Marsch from a youth tournament and recruited him for the college in what was the start of a long-standing, highly successful partnership between the pair.

Bradley was assistant coach at DC United and played a role in the recruitment of Marsch, before taking the new Leipzig boss with him to both Chicago Fire and Chivas USA. It was head coach Bradley that called him up for the second of his two appearances for the USMNT against China in 2007 and he also brought his protege into the national team fold as his assistant once Marsch retired.

Jesse Marsch (c.) started his coaching journey under the guidance of his mentor Bob Bradley (l.) with the USA men's national team. - Mary EvansxAllstarxGraham Whitby Boot via images/Mary Evans

Bradley's influence has been significant in shaping Marsch's footballing philosophy and the 63-year-old knew early on that Marsch would follow him into coaching.

He later told The Princeton Alumni Weekly: "There are always guys who you say to yourself, 'I'm pretty sure he's going to continue, and he's going to be a coach,' and Jesse would be one of those guys."

3. Leipzig already a second home

Having taken up his first head coaching role with Montreal Impact in 2011, Marsch sandwiched a secondment with Leipzig between hugely successful stints at sister clubs New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg (more on those to come) during the 2018-19 campaign.

Marsch served as assistant to Leipzig oracle Ralf Rangnick as the team finished third in the Bundesliga and reached the DFB Cup final - their first appearance in the showpiece of a major tournament in the club's history.

Watch: Ralf Rangnick on the Bundesliga's American youngsters

It's here that Marsch learned German and his influence was significant, not only in the way Rangnick's side set up on the pitch, but also in coming up with an innovative way of towing the line off it: by introducing a wheel of punishment in the locker room.

"Having the team be successful in Leipzig and learning the rhythms of European football, learning more of the language, understanding exactly what the culture meant to the people there, prepared me really well," Marsch said in the same Sky Sports interview. "It also gave people the sense that I was not just a random American who spoke no German and had no European experience coming to Salzburg."

4. Tyler Adams' biggest fan

During his time at the Red Bull Academy, Marsch took particular interest in the development of countryman Tyler Adams, who left a lasting impression on the coach.

"I think he's exceeded my expectations, our expectations," Marsch said on Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol TV show. "There's been some talk, like I've done so much to help Tyler, adapt and do well here. I don't think it's hurt, but Tyler is the reason Tyler has been successful.

Watch: US Bundesliga Stars: A Golden Generation

"He's a special person, he's a special personality, he's a special talent and the ceiling for him is massive. Massive here in Leipzig and in the Bundesliga and beyond. So I'm proud to be connected with him and to have played a role in his development and I can't wait to see where he goes from here."

Both player and coach have taken their games on to the next level over the course of the past two seasons and the pair's reunion this summer should make for an exciting prospect for both club and country.

5. A winning habit

"I want to win the whole fricking thing!" 

These were Marsch's words prior to Salzburg taking on UEFA Champions League holders Bayern Munich in the group stages of this season's competition. It may seem a little fanciful, but this is a man used to winning and it's this kind of ambition that will have impressed Leipzig decision makers as they searched for Nagelsmann's replacement in a bid to dethrone Bayern.

Alongside Marsch's success as a player, he led New York Red Bulls to the regular season Supporters' Shield in his first full season with the franchise in 2015 and was named Coach of the Year as a result. He came painfully close to adding to that with the DFB Cup until Bayern's 3-0 win in the 2018/19 final, but immediately led Salzburg to the Austrian league and cup double in his first season.

Jesse Marsch led Red Bull Salzburg to the Austrian league and cup double in his first season in charge. - Eibner-Pressefoto/EXPA/Feichter via images/Eibner Europa

With his team on the brink of confirming the Austrian Bundesliga title and taking on LASK in the cup final on 1 May, Marsch is on course to defend both trophies and it’s clear that team spirit is as important to his success as his love of high-octane, attacking football.

"I think building a team consists of the soccer elements: the tactics, the passing and the technique, but that's only half of it. The other half is creating a mentality, environment and identity of who we are, how we work and how we interact with each other," he told msgnetworks.

"I think I actually spend more time on that side of things than I do on the tactics. That's what I enjoy about being a coach: being a leader and being a mentor, helping everyone understand how to commit to this at the highest level."