Former Montreal Impact coach, Jesse March, the only one in the MLS-era (apart from Wilmer Cabrera) that has not been fired from the club, is making a reputation for himself in Europe.
Many Impact fans were disappointed to see the American leave Stade Saputo in 2012 after the first MLS season ended when differences in coaching philosophies between Marsch and the club’s management led to an “amicable” split.
Marsch has rarely looked back since (Impact fans have!!!) and last night became the first American to coach a side in the UEFA Champions League.
His Red Bull Salzburg side got their campaign off to a spectacular start to mark the occasion, defeating Belgian Champions Genk, 6-2.
Marsch resumed his MLS coaching career, after leaving the Impact, at New York Red Bulls, becoming the most successful head coach in Red Bulls history in terms of MLS regular season win-percentage.
He’s progressed through the Red Bull family to Salzburg, via RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, where he was assistant coach, connections that have served him well.
Since Red Bull controversially took over the Austria Salzburg club in 2006, they have won no fewer than ten Austrian Bundesliga titles, including the last six in succession. Prior to 2006, they had won only three in their entire history.
It’s clear that Red Bull’s influence and financial clout has distorted the equilibrium in Austrian soccer, but that’s not something that will concern Jesse March, now entrusted with the reins at the country’s top football club.
As well as last night’s success, RB Salzburg is already well on the way to winning it’s 7th Austrian Bundesliga in succession. They won each of their first 9 league games, and look uncatchable.
Marsch hailed 19 year-old scoring sensation Erling Braut Haaland last night who became the first Champions league debutant to score a hat-trick since one, Wayne Rooney in 2004.
If the name is familiar, the Norwegian is the son of Alf-Inge Haaland, who had a ten-year career in England with Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City and was once involved in a famous spat with Roy Keane.
The youngster has already scored 17 goals in Salzburg’s 9 league matches this season, and managed 9 in a single game for Norway over Honduras in Poland at the u20 World Cup during the summer.
Marsch was asked after his side’s win to describe his striker in three words: “Positive. Energetic. Electric. Or maybe electrifying!” he said.
That’s four, but we know what he means!