Yesterday, former United States Men’s National Team player and current Red Bull Salzburg head coach Jesse Marsch made a bit of history when he became the first American manager to coach (and win) a Champions League match. His Salzburg side destroyed Genk 6-2 yesterday, remaining undefeated on the season in all competitions. Marsch made his name as a head coach first in one season with the Montreal Impact, then in 3 and a half seasons with the New York Red Bulls. He left New Jersey in 2018 to become an assistant at RB Leipzig, using what he learned there as a springboard to land the Red Bull Salzburg job before this season.
His early success abroad has people talking about whether other American coaches will make the leap from the United States to coach in Europe. There have been other coaches who have spent time coaching abroad. Currently, David Wagner coaches for Schalke 04, arriving there before this season from Huddersfield Town. Bob Bradley famously led the Egypt national team to the verge of a World Cup bid and then coached at Stæbek (Norway), Le Havre (France), and then a short stint at Swansea City before returning to MLS to coach at Los Angeles Football Club. Current USMNT Gregg Berhalter coached at Hammarby in Sweden before coming back to America to coach the Columbus Crew and then the USMNT, while Thomas Dooley coached the Philippines for several years and Steve Cherundolo was an assistant for Hannover and Stuttgart.
Among the dozen or so other American coaches that currently coach in Europe include Joe Enochs (FSV Zwickau, Germany 3. Liga), Mike Keeney (Sudet Kouvola, Finland Third Division), Brian Clarhut (Nyköpings BIS, Sweden Third Division), and Dennis Lukens (Sudnobudivnyk Mykolaiv, Ukraine Second Division). Still, there are tons of coaching opportunities out there and with more players trying to get their coaching license and other established American coaches in MLS, it’s only a matter of time before more Americans get opportunities to coach in Europe.
So, today’s Community Corner asks: who do you think will be the next American coach to head to Europe? And where do you think they will go? Hit the comments and let us know what you think.