Former United States international Jesse Marsch gave his first press conference as RB Leipzig head coach on Tuesday, three years after arriving for his first spell at the club as assistant coach. - © Roger Petzsche via images/Picture Point LE
Former United States international Jesse Marsch gave his first press conference as RB Leipzig head coach on Tuesday, three years after arriving for his first spell at the club as assistant coach. - © Roger Petzsche via images/Picture Point LE

Jesse Marsch: "RB Leipzig is the right fit"


Jesse Marsch says RB Leipzig is the perfect place to continue his career and that becoming the club's head coach was a dream of his since he worked with New York Red Bulls.

Former United States international Marsch left his post at Austrian champions Salzburg this summer in order to take over from Julian Nagelsmann, who has succeeded Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich.

The 47-year-old, who was in charge at New York Red Bulls between 2015 and 2018, served as Leipzig assistant coach for the 2018-19 season before moving to Austria.

After winning back-to-back league and cup doubles with Salzburg, he is delighted to return to the club that finished as Bundesliga runners-up last season.

"I'm really happy," Marsch said when he was presented to the media for the first time as Leipzig boss on Tuesday.

New RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch has been getting his ideas across on the training ground as he looks to build on a successful two-year stint with Austrian double winners Salzburg. - Roger Petzsche via images/Picture Point LE

"I know this club, our fans, this city, our squad. We had so much fun three years ago and did good work. We developed a super team and had a lot of success. To be here again as head coach is a great honour for me, and I'm very excited.

"And I think it's the right fit. That's always the most important thing for me as a coach, to have the right people to work with, to be at the right club, to have the right idea of football, for life in football and in general… Leipzig's the perfect location for me. I haven't said this before, but my dream since I was with New York was always to be here as head coach of RB Leipzig.

"So I'm really happy, and I think our team's outstanding too. We have so many good players and there's a good atmosphere. I saw a lot of our good players at the European Championship too.

"So I fully believe in the potential, the ability, the talent, and the mentality of this group. It's my job to develop this team even further, and we'll do that together."

Marsch, who served under head coach Ralf Rangnick in his previous stint at Leipzig, said he planned to build on what Nagelsmann had developed over the last two years. He would also be stressing the need for intensity, aggression against the ball and looking to play forward passes.

"My goal is always to control the opponent and the game completely," the ex-Chicago Fire midfielder said. "I think it's almost never possible, given the opponent has so many qualities of their own, but that's always the goal."

Taking over from Nagelsmann, who also guided Leipzig to the DFB Cup final last season as well as the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2019/20, would be a daunting task for many coaches.

Marsch, though, is confident that he can continue to bring success to a club that has finished in the Bundesliga top three in four of the past five seasons.

While defender Dayot Upamecano has left for Bayern Munich, Marsch will be looking forward to working with new signings such as Brian Brobbey, Josko Gvardiol, Mohamed Simakan and Andre Silva, who got 28 Bundesliga goals for Eintracht Frankfurt last season.

Watch: All 28 of Andre Silva's Bundesliga goals in 2020/21

US youngster Caden Clark will also join an already strong squad that features the likes of Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, Austrian playmaker Marcel Sabitzer, US midfielder Tyler Adams, Swedish attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg, Spanish attacker Dani Olmo, and Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen.

"In general, I think the club's always made progress," Marsch outlined. "They've always played better and better, and developed more and more players. I think I have to work along the same lines.

RB Leipzig and USA midfielder Tyler Adams (l.) previously worked with his new coach Jesse Marsch (r.) when the pair were at New York Red Bulls together. - GEPA pictures/ K. Doelitzsch/imago/GEPA pictures

"Of course I believe in our chances. The first step for me is always that we have a team that plays for each other with all they have. Total passion, power, energy, positivity… I think if we manage that much then we'll have a chance against any opponents."

Marsch's first competitive game in charge of Leipzig is tricky one, since they must travel to face Bundesliga 2 side Sandhausen away from home in the DFB Cup at the start of August. They are on the road for their opening Bundesliga match as well, when they will take on Mainz on the weekend of 13-15 August.