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Jesse Marsch: European adventures continue at RB Salzburg

Mar 24, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch before a game against Minnesota United at Red Bull Arena. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Former New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch will continue his European adventure in Austria next season. The 45-year-old current RasenBallsport Leipzig assistant coach will take over from current FC Red Bull Salzburg head coach Marco Rose in the summer. 

“We are delighted to have found a successor to Marco Rose very quickly and to have gained clarity for the season ahead in good time,” Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund told reporters Monday in a statement issued by RB Salzburg. “Jesse Marsch is a coach who allows us to continue the path we have taken.”

Marsch moved to Europe last summer to assist current RB Leipzig sporting director and interim head coach Ralf Rangnick. Named RasenBallsport, rather than Red Bull to comply with Bundesliga regulations, RB Leipzig are on top of the Red Bull football pyramid that includes clubs in Germany, Austria, the United States and Brazil, plus an academy in Ghana. 

“I am really pleased and feel honored to be able to work for this fantastic club as their next coach,” Marsch said in an official press release published RB Salzburg’s official homepage. “I will give everything to continue the extremely successful work further here. That is going to be a new challenge for me, and I can’t wait for it.”

The football operations of all the franchises are owned by the Austrian soft-drink company Red Bull, which is headquartered in Fuschl am See, not far from Salzburg. There, all soccer operations are overseen and far-reaching strategic decisions are made concerning the entire soccer empire. 

It is common for players and staff to be moved between the various clubs around the planet. Leipzig, for example, has signed 16 players, including new signing Hannes Wolf, from Red Bull Salzburg since the club’s creation in 2009. 

Marsch’s former club, the New York Red Bulls, is also part of the development strategy. Last winter Leipzig signed Tyler Adams from the Red Bulls, and the American has been stellar in his first few months in Germany. The Red Bull system, however, is not just about developing players but also head coaches, and Salzburg’s staff is convinced Marsch is now ready to become a full-time head coach in Europe.

“We have followed his career and development very closely in recent years, and we have spoken often. We are completely convinced of him both as a professional and as a person. He knows our philosophy and way of playing football very well,” Freund concluded.

Marsch will have some big shoes to fill in Salzburg. Marco Rose is on course to win his second consecutive Austrian championship and last season guided FC Salzburg to the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League, playing perhaps the most attractive brand in the competition. 

It is both a big test and a big opportunity for Marsch.

Rose will continue his career in the German Bundesliga next season. But first, there is work to be done with Leipzig until the end of the season. 

“I still have a lot to do with RB Leipzig until then to finish the season in the best possible way,” Marsch said. “I am concentrating completely on that before my new role at FC Red Bull Salzburg starts.”

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