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Jesse Marsch to take charge of Red Bull Salzburg

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Jesse Marsch has completed the hat trick. He is moving on to his third Red Bull club.

The former New York Red Bulls head coach has spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant at RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, and now he is heading to the Austrian Bundesliga to manage Red Bull Salzburg on a three-year contract.

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Marsch, 45, will take charge of Salzburg from next season and the former U.S. men’s national team and MLS stalwart will have one of the best jobs an American coach has ever had in world soccer.

“I am really pleased and feel honored to be able to work for this fantastic club as their next coach. I will give everything to further continue the extremely successful work here,” Marsch said. “That is going to be a new challenge for me, and I can’t wait for it. I still have a lot to do with RB Leipzig until then to finish the season in the best possible way. I am concentrating completely on that before my new role at FC Red Bull Salzburg starts.”

Sporting Director Christoph Freund added that Salzburg have “followed Marsch’s career and development very closely in recent years” and that they are “completely convinced of him both as a professional and as a person. He knows our philosophy and way of playing football very well.”

There is no doubt that Marsch has landed a very decent job, and the way he transformed the fortunes of the New York Red Bulls in MLS (a Supporters’ Shield and Coach of the Year award in 2015 the highlight) shows he deserves it. His work to develop young players has been particularly impressive, and Salzburg have a record of improving and selling on plenty of talented youngsters such as Sadio Mane and Kevin Kampl. Salzburg’s link with Leipzig is a close one, and if Marsch excels in Austria, there is a strong possibility he could head back to Germany to take charge of Leipzig in the future.

As for Salzburg, they reached the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League last season and the last 16 this season, while they are currently top of the table in Austria and if they win the title they will be in the UEFA Champions League playoff round next season.

Many believed Marsch should have been a leading candidate for the USMNT head coaching job during its recent vacancy, but it always seemed like he was more focused on making waves in club management in Europe.

With this job at Salzburg, he certainly has the chance to do that.

EURO qualifying: Hungary stings Croatia, Israel hangs 4 on Austria

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It wasn’t just Germany and the Netherlands staging a tight and entertaining match in EURO 2020 qualifying on Sunday.

[ VIDEO: Saief, Manneh lead FC Cincinnati ]

Hungary 2-1 Croatia

Ante Rebic’s early goal made a “business as usual” statement for the World Cup runners-up, but Hungary can be a handful against any opponents and rallied at home.

Hoffenheim striker Adam Szalai brought the hosts level at halftime, and Mate Patkai gave Hungary a deserved 2-1 win in Budapest.

Coming three days after a loss in Slovakia to start qualifying, it was an early almost-must-win for Marco Rossi’s men.

Israel 4-2 Austria

Marko Arnautovic‘s brace in defeat couldn’t have come with different vibes. His eighth minute marker gave the Austrians a leg up, his 75th minute goal meaning very little with the side having conceded four-straight in between.

China-based striker Eran Zahavi scored a hat trick for Israel, and RB Salzburg star Munas Dabbur scored the fourth goal to keep the hosts within sight of first place Poland.

Austria is winless through two qualifiers.

Elsewhere
Wales 1-0 Slovakia
Cyprus 0-2 Belgium
San Marino 0-2 Scotland
Netherlands 2-3 Germany — RECAP, VIDEO
Northern Ireland 2-1 Belarus
Poland 2-0 Latvia
Slovenia 1-1 Macedonia
Kazakhstan 0-4 Russia

Huge blow for West Ham as Arnautovic out injured

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West Ham United will be without their main man for the busy festive period.

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Marko Arnautovic suffered a hamstring injury against Cardiff City on Tuesday which will keep him out for at least a month, as the Hammers will have to do without their top goalscorer until January.

Arnautovic, 29, has been a revelation since arriving at the London Stadium from Stoke City in the summer of 2017. From January 2018 onwards he has often lined up as their lone striker, but the Austrian will now spend some time on the sidelines after suffering a few knocks in recent weeks.

“We know how important Marko is for our team,” Pellegrini said. “We have too many players injured in a month that we have to play seven games and then in January, six more games. But I always have the same answer – we have a squad and it is a chance for another player to demonstrate why they are here.”

In recent weeks Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has grabbed his chance with both hands, as the Mexican star scored twice in the 3-0 win at Newcastle United last weekend. Lucas Perez also scored a brace in West Ham’s 3-1 home win against Cardiff City on Tuesday and if others continue to step up, plus Felipe Anderson continues to create chances galore, the Hammers should be just fine without Arnie.

West Ham are now up to 13th in the table after a slow start under Manuel Pellegrini and have an extremely favorable schedule over the festive season with games against Crystal Palace, Fulham, Watford, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton their next six games coming up.

By the time Arnautovic returns they could well be pushing for a spot in the top eight.

UEFA Nations League: England reach finals; Belgium capitulate

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in the UEFA Nations League…

[ MORE: USMNT injuries ahead of Italy friendly | Injuries for Italy, too ]

England 2-1 Croatia

The best rivalries in sports are the ones born out of contentious, high-stakes meetings on the field of play and the inevitable spill-over of words thereafter. Along those very lines, something of a rivalry is brewing between England and Croatia, and it’s all happened within a six-month period in 2018.

There was, of course, the two nations’ 2018 World Cup semifinal meeting in July, followed by the first of two rematches in the Nations League last month, and finally Sunday’s League A Group 4 finale. In between all of those on-field meetings, though, came the stoking of fires in the form of a verbal jab here and there.

Sunday’s clash at Wembley Stadium, which saw the Croats go ahead not long before the hour mark and appear destined for victory and the top spot in the group, only to watch their lead slip away in a late collapse, will only have added to the budding disdain between the two squads.

Andrej Kramaric put the visitors ahead int he 57th minute, but Jesse Lingard (78th) and Harry Kane (85th) brought the Three Lions back for a dramatic victory and pushed Gareth Southgate‘s to a first-place finish in the group. As such, England (7 points) joined Portugal in the final-four knockout stage.

Nearly as sweet for England, the result sends Croatia (4 points) bottom of the group, and they’ll be relegated to League B next time around.

Switzerland 5-2 Belgium

From 2-0 up, to an embarrassing 5-2 defeat, Sunday was certainly a day to forget — and an opportunity missed — for Belgium. A draw over victory against Switzerland would have seen the Red Devils finish top of League A Group 2, and they were in poll position for precisely that result after just 17 minutes, when they led 2-0 courtesy of Thorgan Hazard‘s early brace.

From that point forward, not a single thing went right for Roberto Martinez’s side as the home side score five unanswered goals from that point forward. It was 2-2 fewer than 15 minutes later — Ricardo Rodriguez and Haris Seferovic (penalty kick made it so — and Seferovic made it 3-2 just before halftime. There would be no galvanizing of the troops after the intermission, as Nico Elvedi scored his first international goal to make it 4-2 in the 62nd minute. Seferovic completed his hat trick, and the 5-2 scoreline, in the 84th.

In the end, it’s the Swiss who’ll join England and Portugal in the League A finals, by virtue of the second tiebreaker — goal differential in head-to-head matchups.

Elsewhere in UEFA Nations League

League B Group 3

Northern Ireland 1-2 Austria

League C Group 2

Hungary 2-0 Finland
Greece 0-1 Estonia

League D Group 2

San Marino 0-2 Belarus
Moldova 1-1 Luxembourg

Monday’s UEFA Nations League schedule

League A Group 1

Germany vs. Netherlands — 2:45 p.m. ET

League B Group 1

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia — 2:45 p.m. ET

League B Group 4

Denmark vs. Ireland — 2:45 p.m. ET

League C Group 3

Cyprus vs. Norway — 2:45 p.m. ET
Bulgaria vs. Slovakia — 2:45 p.m. ET

League D Group 1

Georgia vs. Kazakhstan — 12 p.m. ET
Andorra vs. Latvia — 12 p.m. ET

League D Group 4

Macedonia vs. Gibraltar — 2:45 p.m. ET
Liechtenstein vs. Armenia — 2:45 p.m. ET

West Ham playmaker Arnautovic admits he’s playing hurt

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West Ham playmaker Marko Arnautovic is in his second season with the Hammers, and while leading West Ham with five goals on the season, he’s definitely not 100%. Still, his team needs him – both club and country – and so he’ll keep suiting up even through the pain.

Arnautovic, on international duty with Austria, admitted to hometown media that he needs regular medical treatment to stay on the pitch this season.

“I can not say if I’ll get an injection on Thursday,” Arnautovic said. “In my knee, fluid accumulates again and again. Of course, there are people who say they should rest themselves and do nothing for a week, but it’s just difficult.”

Arnautovic would not elaborate on the type of injection he is receiving, but it’s likely a steroid or other anti-inflammatory injection to keep the swelling in his knee to a minimum. He also may be having his knee drained, a painful process that involves physically removing fluid buildup through a syringe.

The 29-year-old was originally injured in a 3-1 win over Everton in mid-September, the club’s first win of the season. He was withdrawn from that match in the 64th minute after scoring a goal and assisting another, and missed the subsequent Premier League match against Chelsea. He returned to play 83 minutes against Manchester United the next time out, and has missed only one match since, playing the full 90 minutes in the other three.

To keep his knee as healthy as possible, Arnautovic told Sky Sports earlier last month that he was avoiding training too much. “The knee is not the best but I am fit and I can play,” Arnautovic said. “I’m not training a lot at West Ham to try and my knee calm.”

“After a game I need some rest for about two or three days. By the middle of the week I am training normally with the team, training in full. And on the weekend I can play, that is the most important thing. Obviously you can’t do anything on this bone bruise.”