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Jesse Marsch
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Marsch: New U.S. Soccer leadership needs to unify

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Lost a bit in the coronavirus suspensions in soccer were comments from Red Bull Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch regarding U.S. Soccer’s recent controversial law filings against the women’s national team.

Then-U.S. Soccer president Cordeiro issued an apology after a court filing disparaged female athletes and called the World Cup champions an inferior squad to the men’s national team.

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe was among those who didn’t buy the apology and Cordeiro resigned on March 12.

Marsch was asked his thoughts during a recent interview during a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, and he did not hold back.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At times it read like a stump speech, so Marsch made sure to note that this wasn’t about how the USMNT was being run by Gregg Berhalter, and that it isn’t about adesire to hold the job.

He just wants to know, like many of us, what the heck is going on?

“Where are the leaders in our federation?” he asked. “Where are the leaders in our sport? How can we, especially after failing to make the [men’s] World Cup, now allow this to happen? I mean, I am a coach, but more so I’m a fan of U.S. Soccer. And believe me, this has nothing to do with Gregg Berhalter. This has nothing to do with my desire to be the national team coach. This is a bigger question of: Who are our leaders and who is going to take the federation from here? And who can we trust to actually now help the sport in our country become what we all want it to be?”

Marsch mentioned that he wants to see the USSF unite its divided parties, from players and staff to fans and coaches.

“The only chance we have to really tap into our potential is if everybody believes in a common purpose and everybody works together.”

You can read his entire interview with SI here, which also touches on protegee Tyler Adams.

Europa League roundup: Big comeback for Gerrard’s Rangers; Marsch’s Salzburg falls

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Both Old Firm rivals picked up notable first leg results, while American coach Jesse Marsch endured a tough knockout round debut as the Europa League sprung back into action on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Premier League sides Arsenal and Wolves both collected wins — the latter in highlight-reel fashion — after Manchester United drew in Belgium to start the day.

Rangers 3-2 Braga

The visitors set the tone for an audacious tie with a marvelous 11th-minute goal, but Steven Gerrard‘s hosts took a one-goal lead with an even better comeback.

Fransergio scored the show-stopping opener in question before Barcelona loanee Abel Ruiz made it 2-0 before the hour mark.

Rangers thundered back, though, with Joe Aribo bookending a brace from Ianis Hagi — son of Gheorghe — to take an advantage to Portugal.

Hagi has 10 caps but has yet to score for Romania, but has three goals and an assist in his first six matches for the Glaswegian set.

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg

Marsch’s men were down 2-0 at the break and 4-0 before the hour mark, but will at least have the comfort of Hwang Hee-Chan’s 85th-minute away goal to bring back to Austria for the second leg.

Daichi Kamada scored a hat trick for the Bundesliga side, with Filip Kostic netting Eintracht’s other goal.

Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic

The Glaswegian set saw two of its stars combine to produce a quarter-hour lead, with Odsonne Edouard the scorer off a Callum McGregor assist, but ex-Hull and Sunderland man Dame N'Doye salvaged a draw for the hosts in the second half.

Full Thursday UEL scoreboard

CFR Cluj 1-1 Sevilla
Club Brugge 1-1 Manchester United — RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg
Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic
Getafe 2-0 Ajax
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-2 Inter Milan
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Benfica
Sporting Lisbon 3-1 Istanbul Basaksehir
APOEL Nicosia 0-3 Basel
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 LASK
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Porto
Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal — RECAP
Rangers 3-2 Braga
Roma 1-0 Gent
Wolfsburg 2-1 Malmo
Wolves 4-0 Espanyol — RECAP

Red Bull Salzburg set to play USMNT during January camp

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The United States men’s national team will face Red Bull Salzburg in a scrimmage during January training camp in Qatar.

The fixture is listed on the Salzburg web site.

That means, of course, that Gregg Berhalter will match wits with fellow American boss Jesse Marsch.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Berhalter announced his roster for the break last week, with 22 MLS-based players joining three others in camp from Jan. 5-25.

Presumably, the Yanks will add a second Qatar-based match.

The camp in Qatar will be followed by a friendly against Costa Rica in California. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup, and the USMNT begins qualifying in the Hex this Fall.

The Austrian league is on winter break, so Marsch’s men have four friendlies scheduled including the USMNT match. They’ll also face Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg in Qatar before meeting Poland’s Gornik Zabrze and Austria’s SKU Amstetten in Europe.

Salzburg is yet to lose in league play but holds just a two-point lead over LASK. They have an Austrian Cup quarterfinal on Feb. 9 before meeting LASK on Valentine’s Day and Eintracht Frankfurt on Feb. 20 in the Europa League. That’s a huge ask of a manager.

Europa League draw: Arsenal, Man Utd, Wolves learn fate

Europa League Manchester United Club Brugge
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Premier League sides learned their fate in the UEFA Europa League, and not one of them were handed an easy path to the Round of 16.

Manchester United drew Club Brugge, who transferred from the Champions League after a third place finish. The sides met in UCL qualifying back in 2015, the Red Devils cruising past the Belgians.

[ MORE: Champions League draw ]

Arsenal tangles with stingy Greek side Olympiacos, having met in four Champions League group stages between 2009-15.

Wolves draw a side its never faced: La Liga mainstay Espanyol.

The notable matches don’t stop there.

American coach Jesse Marsch will lead Red Bull Salzburg against the Bundesliga’s Eintracht Frankfurt.

Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers both learned their fates, the Bhoys will meet Danish powers Copenhagen and Steven Gerrard‘s Rangers clash with Braga.

The Round of 32 matches will be staged Feb. 20 and 27.

Europa League Round of 32
Wolves v. Espanyol
Sporting Lisbon v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Getafe v. Ajax
Bayer Leverkusen v. Porto
Copenhagen v. Celtic
APOEL Nicosia v. Basel
CFR Cluj v. Sevilla
Olympiacos v. Arsenal
AZ Alkmaar v. LASK
Club Brugge v. Manchester United
Ludogorets Razgrad v. Inter Milan
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Red Bull Salzburg
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Benfica
Wolfsburg v. Malmo
Roma v. Gent
Rangers v. Braga

Report: Salzburg star Haaland meets with Borussia Dortmund

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Erling Braut Haaland is one of the most promising young names in European football, his career trajectory shooting up, up, up after several dynamite performances in the UEFA Champions League.

The Red Bull Salzburg striker, 19, wasn’t in full fitness when his side was bounced from the UCL by Liverpool on Tuesday, but he’d made his presence felt earlier in the competition.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Haaland bagged eight of his 28 season goals in the UCL, including three against Napoli and one against the reigning champion Reds.

Now the Leeds-born Norwegian is eyeing up his next step. Having been linked with Manchester United and his dad’s club Leeds, Haaland reportedly flew into Dortmund for a Wednesday meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Dad, Alf-Inge Haaland, played 22 years between Bryne, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Manchester City, and Rosseland.

Now should Haaland find a new home, it seems awfully likely it would work similar to Christian Pulisic‘s move to Chelsea from Dortmund last season; The twice-capped Norway international could sign for BVB (or another club) and head back to Salzburg to star in the Europa League (he’s cup-tied in the UCL).

Plus, Salzburg would love to give coach Jesse Marsch a full year with the star. They’re unbeaten in league play.