Austrian Bundesliga

Jesse Marsch award
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American coach Marsch named Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year

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American coach Jesse Marsch saw his incredible season grow with a predictable but wonderful honor.

Marsch is the Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year after leading Red Bull Salzburg to a domestic double despite myriad challenges.

Obviously all coaches had to manage their teams during the coronavirus pandemic, but Marsch also had to contend with sales of stars Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), and Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg) to big clubs in top European leagues.

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The Salzburg release brands Marsch as someone with “his American charm and sheer endless positivity” and includes this quote from Marsch:

“Winning Coach of the Year for me is a reward for the entire team, which I think is deserved. The trophy is for the whole coaching staff, as we have worked so well together. Losing players in winter brought us even closer together.

Aided by LASK Linz loses its table lead when it was docked six points for unauthorized team training during the pandemic, Marsch’s Salzburg left no questions in winning the league with four matches left (The club went 1W-1D-2L in the final matches).

Marsch spent last season assisting Ralf Rangnick and RB Leipzig to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga. Prior to that he was MLS Coach of the Year with the New York Red Bulls. As a player, he won three MLS Cups and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups while also earning two USMNT caps.

It will be interesting to see if Marsch sticks around another year in Austria. His name has risen in renown like a rocket and he had been linked with Borussia Dortmund, and there are no guarantees he can continue to impress with Salzburg in the Champions League and Europa League.

Salzburg was a stepping stone for its last Coach of the Year, and Marco Rose enjoyed success at Borussia Monchengladbach this season. With league Player of the Year winner Dominik Szoboszlai expected to fetch a big fee and join Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Konrad Laimer, and the aforementioned transfers in challenging a coach to rebuild his squad, perhaps Marsch will go sooner rather than later.

We wouldn’t put anything past him, though. At one point before he’s done, Marsch will be an exciting USMNT coach if he wants the job.

Marsch’s Salzburg secures domestic double in Austria

Salzburg wins Austrian Bundesliga
Photo by David Geieregger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images
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American boss Jesse Marsch and Red Bull Salzburg completed a domestic double on Sunday with a 3-0 win over TSV Hartberg at Red Bull Arena in Wals-Siezenheim.

Hee-chan Hwang had a goal and an assist, while Andre Ramalho and Patson Daka also scored for the hosts, who held a 33-9 edge in shot attempts.

The Austrian Bundesliga crown comes with two matches left on the docket and just under a month after the club won the Austrian Cup over Lustenau.

Marsch’s move overseas has been an unqualified success.

A year after assisting Ralf Rangnick and RB Leipzig to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga, his opening salvo as manager in Europe includes a domestic double despite trying personnel times.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

LASK Linz had a three-point lead on Salzburg when it was docked six points for unauthorized team training during the pandemic, but any concerns about that putting an asterisk on Salzburg’s title have been erased by a dominant return to the pitch.

Salzburg is unbeaten in seven with five wins the Austrian Bundesliga returned from the coronavirus pause, successfully rebounding from a slow start to the second half following the sales of stars including Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), and Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg).

This is an incredible achievement for Marsch and it will be interesting to see if he can resist a move to a bigger league, especially considering the top spot in the Red Bull family, Leipzig, is manned by a young coach who isn’t going anywhere in Julian Nagelsmann.

Transfer news: Alaba to Chelsea, Szoboszlai to Arsenal

Alaba to Chelsea
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London clubs are chasing players from two different Bundesligas in Friday’s transfer rumors.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Arsenal is looking to the Austrian Bundesliga, while Chelsea takes an interest in Germany’s top-flight as the summer of changes continues to heat up.

Szoboszlai to Arsenal

Red Bull Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch could lose yet another phenom as the Austrian club fields bids for teenage sensation Dominik Szoboszlai.

The 19-year-old Szoboszlai has helped pick up the slack for Salzburg after the sales of Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), and Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg).

Szoboszlai starred in Salzburg’s Austrian Cup win and has 10 goals and 16 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions. He also has eight Hungary caps with a goal and can play across the midfield.

Salzburg has an eight-point lead on LASK with three matches to play, so the league title is imminent.

The Austrian side is expected to want around $33 million for the teenager, who is being chased by Arsenal, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain according to a report out of France.

Szoboszlai to Arsenal
(Photo by David Geieregger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Alaba to Chelsea

Chelsea continues to look at the Bundesliga in bid to buttress their Premier League title hopes.

The Blues have already signed RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner and been linked with Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

There’s a third name on the list now, and it’s versatile Austrian star David Alaba of Bayern Munich.

Alaba, who turned 28 this week, has been with the Bavarians since 2008 apart from a 2011 loan to Hoffenheim.

Long considered one of the best left backs in the world, Alaba has moved inside this season due to center back injuries for Bayern and the emergence of Alphonso Davies.

He has also played plenty of center mid, left mid, and even attacking mid for Austria, but you have to expect Lampard would look to him as a left back.

The Blues have also been linked with Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell who is younger but… decidedly not David Alaba.

Salzburg takes another step to title; Marsch wears Black Lives Matter band

Jesse Marsch Black Lives Matter
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Red Bull Salzburg smashed TSV Hartberg 6-0 to increase its table lead on Sunday.

The club got a hat trick from Zambia international Patson Daka in the win, moving American manager Jesse Marsch closer to his first European top flight crown one week after he lifted the Austrian Cup.

Salzburg moves seven points clear of Wolfsberger and eight ahead of LASK Linz, who were docked six points for team training during the pandemic. Wolfsberger and LASK drew Sunday.

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Marsch wore a Black Lives Matter arm band on the sideline, and his team proffered a matching celebration after scoring.

He recently denied reports that Borussia Dortmund sounded him out about replacing Lucien Favre, saying he’s happy in Austria.

Salzburg has eight matches left in its season and is bidding to win its seventh-straight Austrian Bundesliga title.

American coach Marsch lauds players after Salzburg wins Austrian Cup

Jesse Marsch
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American coach Jesse Marsch has now managed a team to a silverware on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean following Red Bull Salzburg’s Austrian Cup triumph on Saturday.

Marsch’s men beat Lustenau 5-0 in the Austrian Cup Final, celebrating with a social distance-inspired celebration. Dominik Szoboszlai had a goal and an assist in the win, while Hee-chan Hwang posted two assists.

[ MORE: Thuram, Sancho honor George Floyd after scoring ]

The side’s red-hot start to the season dipped upon return from winter break after Salzburg sold a number of stars including Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), and Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg).

Salzburg is back atop the Austrian Bundesliga after rivals LASK Linz lost six points for team training during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marsch, 46, won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield as New York Red Bulls coach, and was a regular trophy collector as a player with DC United and the Chicago Fire.

His Salzburg side impressed in a challenging Champions League group and the LASK punishment gives Marsch a look at the domestic double. There are 10 matches left in the Austrian Bundesliga season, which runs through July 5.