Top Stories

Jesse Marsch “wasn’t treated very well” in USMNT head coach search

Jesse Marsch has earned his first international head coaching gig of his career with the Canada men’s national team and although Marsch was born and raised in the United States, it didn’t stop him from holding back about U.S. Soccer.

Marsch was previously considered for the USMNT head coaching job last June before the federation re-hired current head coach, Gregg Berhalter. A former USMNT assistant coach and player, Marsch held several European positions as manager of Leeds United, RB Leipzig, and Red Bull Salzburg, winning four trophies in Austria.

Now as he prepares for the upcoming Copa America with Canada this summer, Marsch admitted his interactions with U.S. Soccer last summer.

“My respect for U.S. Soccer is big, but I went through a process with them, right? And I’m not going to go into it, but I wasn’t treated very well in the process,” Marsch told CBS’ “Call it What You Want” podcast. :And so, whatever man, that’s in the past now. The minute it was done I was like, ‘Okay, I’m moving forward, and I’m going to figure out what’s right for me.’

“It motivated me again to find the right people,” he added. “And so now I just want to talk about Canada, because I’m excited. I feel like it’s a fan base and a player pool and a nation that resonates with me. I’ve worked there before, I know a lot of the people involved.”

Canada is coming off its first World Cup involvement in 36 years, taking part in the 2022 edition in Qatar. However, the Canadians lost in the final of the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League to the USMNT before also being eliminated by Jamaica in the 2023-24 quarterfinals.

Early pressure will certainly be on Marsch this summer to lead Canada into a deep run at the Copa America, but with Argentina, Chile, and Peru joining them in Group A, it certainly won’t be easy.


  1. This guy is an enormous ego wrapped in an I’m-a-humble-everyday-guy facade. Every failure he has met with has a list of excuses “out of his control” to go along with it. The only success he has had is at a team with the budget about the equivalent to the rest of the entire league (perhaps a hyperbolic statement). He’s rode his relationship with RedBull until he was exposed and is parlaying that into some opportunities where he will again fall short of his own opinion of himself. Eventually he will return to MLS or more likely commentary – where his insights are good when not mixed with his enormous ego that constantly infers “I could do it better.” But he can’t.

  2. Anybody with half a brain should have realized that, once the USSF launched their investigation of Gregg, that they really wanted to keep Gregg. Otherwise they could have jualst let him go at the end of last cycle and spared the expense and the bad publicity. Everybody not named Gregg was treated badly but shame on them for thinking that it would be orherwise. Jessie is a big boy and shoud have just moved on and try to get his revenge on the field of play. Anything else is juvenile.

  3. Well, well, well……we are going to see Jesse in charge soon enough, against superior opposition no less. Canada will be playing Netherlands on June 6 in a friendly in Rotterdam. And that’s not going to be a Dutch B-team of the Netherland squad, as the Netherlands are seriously preparing for the European Championship in Germany, where it opens against Wales, Finland, Poland (or Estonia), then plays France and then later Austria ….. while Canada is training and prepping for a berth in the Copa América. Congrats to Marsch, though. It will be interesting to see how his career takes off.

    • Bizzy, Getting your ass kicked in meaningless friendlies but doing well at Copa is a success, however, doing the opposite is a failure. The freindlies aren’t important. Most likely the top players on both teams will be primarily concerned with not getting injured and having to miss the important tournament. Same will apply to US freindlies.

      • Tele57,
        “Bizzy, Getting your ass kicked in meaningless friendlies…”

        Friendlies are only meaningless when there is nothing on the horizon you are training for, when there is no urgency to deliver results, when, as a team, you don’t need any “bar” in order to compare and contrast your team’s current state (technically and tactical), when you don’t have tournaments coming up where you visually need to showcase your coaching decisions / selections, and the teams current level / standard to your respective National federation / soccer governing body.

        Example – You don’t get trashed by Canada (starting your strongest line-up) and go on to win the European Championships lol

      • Bizzy, certainly Canada wants to win those friendlies as does Netherlands and France. However, especially in a tune up friendly winning is probably not the priority for any of them. Jesse is certainly not going to have many of his ideas in the first week and France and Netherlands are going to be working on what they need to for the Euros. It will probably be the big names on the field but their focus will be on their own preparations not on Canada. Think US draw with World Champs France. France’s focus wasn’t on winning.

      • If Canada loses both freindlies 6-0 and gets out of their Copa group then Jesse did his job.

  4. He shouldn’t have teased us with the “I wasn’t treated well by US Soccer”, but then decline to give the details. Either tell us what happened or keep it all private.

    • At another point he said “I tell you what Charlie I’ll lock you in a hotel room for 36 hours and I’ll put you through different tests and questions.” So apparently he at least wasn’t pleased with that part of the US process.

  5. Jesse just can‘t help himself. He has never left a place where folks want him back or speak of him fondly. Even at RBS the general consensus is that the club played better football before and after him, he was just the beneficiary of Haaland and one hell of a recruiting class, so to speak. Even us NYRB fans will remember the frustration of his one dimensional mindset. We really should have won the CACAF Cship with that Adams led team, but watching Jesse not be able to adjust in the most rudimentary way in both legs of that ties was telling. I was a big fan, and thought he got a raw deal at Montreal, but that is when the shortcomings started to become clear. Problems with his mouth an attitude started to show. At RBL he was quickly exposed for his limitations and they realized he was not up to it at all. At Leeds, even though he kept them up, fans saw his tactical limitations early the next season…way before things got bad. Sadly, he just hasn‘t shown that he can evolve at all p to this point. Add that mouth, attitude and victim complex and he gets old fast. To bad, but just like players, there is no guarantee of improvement and Jesse himself admits to his tactical narrow mindedness, but shows zero ability to tweak at all. Jesse‘s style has worn thin at five clubs quickly. Even during his successful periods (NYRB-RBS) it looks like talent made the coach more than anything at this point. Spin all you like, but that isn‘t a good sign at all. Canada gig is a very good one for him TBH. If he can spin an upset in either tourney, small samples, he can probably parlay it into one last Euro shot somewhere, but it is clear that the shine is off.

    • Before the current manager was hired, most RBNY fans would have taken Marsch back in a second. Say what you want about him, but he is the most successful coach in club history.

      • I‘ll say what I want, and that home and home against Chivas was depressing. We were clearly a better team but Jesse played the same way all 180 minutes and Chivas sat back, took it, and walked away with it. At first I thought it was inexperience and a bit naïveté. Now, it just looks like a one dimensional coach. Not a single tactical change. It was brutal and raised concerns. The have not been unfounded. Jesse is a one trick pony until he shows different. Word is out everywhere. It works for a bit until it doesn‘t. Even MLS coaches would be better prepared and I don‘t think he would be an auto success in this MLS right now. Just the way it is until he actually shows different.

    • TK: at least according to Jesse, Saputo was the driving force in getting him hired with Canada. It took 12 years for them to work it out though so….

    • TK,

      When Jesse went to RBL to serve as an assistant under Rangnick it seemed like
      RB Corporate were grooming their boy for bigger and better things in Europe.

      One reason why Americans have had a hard time getting head coaching gigs in Europe is that they have not had a lot of time on the euro club circuit getting to build up an network of contacts and getting a feel for the lay of the land. Managing in MLS does not seem to be doing the trick.

      Admittedly the sample size is not huge but Pellegrino worked his way up the ladder the old fashioned way and so far is arguably the best American managing in a top 5 league. Hoffenheim are 7th in the BL right now.

      Point is , at the time I thought Red Bull were really impressed w Jesse and he was going to be their pet demonstration project.

      Now that we’ve had the benefit of some history it looks like while maybe that narrative was true at the beginning, somewhere along the line the whole thing went to shit to the extent that , as unimpressed as I am with Gregg, I’m more frightened of what Jesse might do to the USMNT and its players.

      I really took notice when he started praising Brenden, a guy who was only successful in Europe under Jesse’s wing. Tyler is too good to be ruined by Jesse but it felt like Jesse had no idea what to do to help out Brenden who started to deliquesce shortly after getting to Yorkshire.

      While he may not make them better, at least Gregg doesn’t seem to make players worse

      Maybe Jesse will turn it around with Canada ; he’s unlikeable and passive aggressive but still pretty young and he’ll certainly have a high profile showcase. They have the basis of some great talent there and they have Tim Horton’s. I get the feeling Jesse craves the spotlight and the celebrity maybe even more than the actual football.

      Anyway, I’d be curious as to your take on what I wrote and how much of this initial “journey” was RB’s idea and how much was it Jesse’s idea.

      • I don‘t think anything unusual happened w Jesse. Coaches are just like players. We tend to overthink/over state things when it comes to US people in the game. We are so desperate to succeed we make excuses at every turn instead of just evaluating. We over project way to much. When MLS started, and soccer was basically still mocked and derided here, I used to tell folks that it would take 20-30 years until we understood what MLS was and where the game was here. It has wildly exceeded anything I thought possible. A fan of the last several years will see things very differently. I also thought Jesse had a real chance. He was being groomed and had trust as you pointed out. He showed real promise IMO. I thought he got a raw deal in Montreal and was happy we signed him. The Chivas tie really started to make me question him. Zero flexibility. The CCACAF Cship was there for the taking and IMO that was on Jessie. Showed a very limited approach. Still, the making of a coach seemed to be there. Just like a player, you nee to evolve. RBS was a great experience, albeit in hindsight another great roster. RBL and Leeds however showed a guy who was simply to one dimensional. Like a player with promise, you groom them and give them shots….just like a player most won‘t reach the heights you hope. Just the way it is. Simply part of the game. RBL did with Jesse what they would with a promising player…nothing more or less IMO. We just have so few coaches over there it sticks out more. Just like it did for players before then, but that is now changing. We like to think it is something special while its just part of the game as we grow. Jesse has to evolve or he has reached his limit. With his attitude and mouth that will limit him. You better have the ability if you are gonna talk like him or other TD‘s an GM‘s will immediately shy away. It‘s one thing, just like a player to talk, when you consistently produce, but without results you move on to the next guy. Just the way it is and we try to make to much of it.

        Wilfred Nancy has shown more tactical nuance during this Champs League run then Jessie has shown his entire career. That‘s the guy to keep an eye on. The hype is legit right now and he will get an overseas opp soon to prove himself. I think the Canada job is great for Jessie and Canada. His style might be a better fit for short tournies. I can see them being able to pull off an upset with some of their tools playing the way he does. Long term not so much. Makes him similar to many coaches and players. Just normal stuff IMO.

    • Yep. Nothing against Marsch wish him tue best, but I want to see the US whip Canada with Marsch in charge. For me Marsch never suited this USMNT and I would dare say US players gave their inputs about Marsch and Berhalter getting the hire. Marsch said Pukisic isn’t world class and then stated Michael Olissie is now turned into a world class player at Palace. Last I looked Pulisic plays for AC Milan a traditional European power and has better stats than Oilssie has for Palace this season.

      • 2tone,

        I also want to see the USMNT beat Canada, regardless of who
        their HC is, as well as any other team that opposes the USMNT, but Marsch was not wrong about Pulisic…he is not world class. Just not the case.

        The belief that Puli is world class because he is at AC Milan is looking at it through rose colored glasses and not digging into his stats from this season. Simple as that.

      • Pulisic’s stats are better than Olise’s only if you ignore the fact that he’s played almost twice as many games as Olise. On a per game basis, Olise has better stats, playing for a worse team, in a better league.

        Which isn’t a slight against Pulisic. He’s had a really good year for a very good team in a top 5 league. It seems like he’s in a really good place in his career, and I hope he continues to improve (and stay healthy) and leads the USA to deep runs in the Copa America and the World Cup.

        I’m not sure what it means to be “world class”, and I don’t really care. It’s just a subjective label.

      • It’s not even about the stats it’s the eye test. What does AC Milan ask Pulisic to do? Every time I watch an AC game, he’s running at people creating chances getting fouled and for the first time he’s truly digging in and playing some defense. He’s versatile play him central or wide either side. No, I don’t consider him one of the top 20 players in the world, buddy. He certainly is one of the two best players at AC Milan.

        I’m not arguing with you at all. I agree with your assessment backing it. Kind of baffled is what is some people post things about him being overrated. If anything he’s underrated.

      • johnny 99

        “I’m not sure what it means to be “world class”, and I don’t really care. It’s just a subjective label.”

        You’re right.

        To me world class means you have a game next month that you must win or literally die.

        Which 17 players ( 11+ 5 subs+ 1 backup keeper) do you pick?

        Double that number to 34 since there are probably enough “world class players” to do that. And that’s about it.

        There are players I would pick ahead of him, but that does not mean that Pulisic couldn’t play on one of those two teams. He’s very, very good. But he’s not elite.

        There are a lot of players outside of that 34 would could make up a World Cup or Champions league winning team.

      • Labeling him shit is subjective, and throwing that word around willy nilly with nothing to back up the sentiment is silly…..what makes Greg shit?

      • Could it be that these players just aren’t who we thing they are? Something to think about, although the people that have it ingrained in their mind certain narratives, will never ponder to such a thing!

      • Papi, I don’t know any profession where people’s performance isn’t based on comparison to their peers. Every time Gregg’s peers do bad (like Japan, Morocco, and S. Korean coaches losing to inferior teams in their Confederation championships) or Jesse whining about not be treated well, it makes Gregg’s performance look better. Whatever you think of him, he is 10-2 in elimination games which is a great record and he apparently has a four leaf clover that he brings out for those games.

Leave a Comment