Bruce Arena praises Jesse Marsch’s hiring at RB Leipzig

New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena wary of Atlanta United. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena wary of Atlanta United. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

On Thursday, the Red Bull organization made it official, naming Jesse Marsch as head coach of Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig. And for Bruce Arena, there is the possibility for more Americans to follow in Marsch’s footsteps.

Arena, now head coach of the New England Revolution, is the godfather of American soccer coaches. He has had success at every stop in the league – ironically minus his time with the New York Red Bulls – and despite his failure to get the United States qualified for the 2018 World Cup remains the measuring stick for American coaches.

With Marsch having now moved from the New York Red Bulls to Red Bull Salzburg and now the Leipzig club, it is a big moment for American soccer. While Americans have found some success playing overseas and in top European leagues, American coaches haven’t had quite the same resounding track record.

“I don’t know necessarily what it means for American soccer, but for Jesse [Marsch] personally, he had a good playing career in Major League Soccer and had a number of [coaching] opportunities with different franchises in the league and experienced success,” Arena told reporters this week about Marsch.

“And then made a really bold move, in my opinion, to move over with the Red Bull teams in Europe. He’s grinded it out. He’s worked as an assistant coach and has been elevated as a head coach and has proved to be a successful coach.

“Now, he has this great opportunity in the Bundesliga. I think it’s a real compliment to Jesse with all his hard work and perseverance. I think it’s a real plus for him, and hopefully it opens some doors for American coaches, but you never know that. There’s plenty of talented American coaches that could be successful in Europe as well.”

The Revolution beat DC United 1-0 this past weekend.

Following the 2002 World Cup where Arena guided the United States to the quarterfinals, there was some buzz that top teams in England and in Europe had interest in the Long Island native.

Arena has won five MLS Cups and, with the United States national team, has three Gold Cup titles in addition to taking the program to the World Cup in 2002 and 2006. He has done a tremendous job with the Revolution in a little over a season with the club (2020 was his first full year with the Revolution).

Marsch, a former MLS player, spent time with the national team as an assistant to Bob Bradley. He also was the manager of the Montreal Impact for their first MLS season as well as a successful run with the Red Bulls.

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