Jesse Marsch crossed paths with Gerhard Struber over the years in the Red Bull global soccer family. Marsch led the New York Red Bulls to their most successful run, and he says Struber can return the struggling team to its former winning ways.
Even while coaching in New York in 2017, Marsh had traveled back-and-forth to Austrian sister club Red Bull Salzburg, where Struber had served as both a youth coach and assistant. Struber also spent 2017-18 at affiliated feeder club Liefering, before impressive stints at Wolfsberger and Barnsley.
“Gerhard, we spoke today for about an hour,” Marsch said Thursday on SiriusXM FC. “He was the Liefering coach, which is our cooperation club, or our second team. He was the coach here for that team for several years. He did a very good job.
“He understands our philosophy, in and out. He’s a very strict believer in our football. So I think he is absolutely the perfect man for the job in New York.”
Marsch doesn’t just know winning soccer: He knows about winning in New York, as the Red Bulls’ all-time winningest coach. Marsch led them to a Supporters’ Shield in 2015 and left midseason en route to a then-MLS record 71 points three years later, taking an assistant job at German Bundesliga power RB Leipzig.
Within a year, Marsch had the head job at Red Bull Salzburg, the first American to coach a team in the UEFA Champions League. But the New York Red Bulls deteriorated in the aftermath of his departure, with his successor Chris Armas fired this season.
Now, they’ve turned to Struber, who took over English Championship side Barnsley and miraculously saved them from relegation. But more important, he’s part of the Red Bull family at Salzburg and Liefering. Staying on-brand, he’s known for both youth development and a high press, either in a 4-4-2 diamond or a 3-4-1-2. In short, Marsch said, he’s suited to get RBNY winning again.
“In the conversation we had, I just tried to translate to him what the people are like there, what the players are like, what the characteristics and personality of the entire club is,” said Marsch.
“I tried to say to him he’s walking into a really good situation, and if he can, I think, iron out a lot of the details within the roster, that he can help turn that team and that club around to be what it was a few years ago. So that’ll certainly be the goal, and I think that he will do a great job.”
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