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The biggest lesson from Marsch’s failed Leeds tenure? American soccer longs for a coaching star

Marsch is still the closest thing American soccer has to a coaching star. But it's in everyone’s best interest to build a pathway so others can outshine him.

5 min read

Why did this week's Bad News in American Coaching feel so much weightier than its Good News?

If you’re reading this, then you almost certainly know that Jesse Marsch was fired as the head coach of Leeds United this week after his team lost against Nottingham Forest, its seventh consecutive Premier League match without a win. You, dear reader, may also be aware that this week saw Hoffenheim hire New Jersey-native Pellegrino Matarazzo to lead a club he had previously worked for as an assistant.

But I think it's fair to say one of these moves received a lot more attention than the other. This may be because the Premier League remains preeminent in the hearts and minds of U.S. fans. Or because the American-laden project Marsch was building at Leeds, even up to the last week before his departure with the loan-to-possibly-buy signing of Weston McKennie, is one of a small handful of factors that will have the greatest impact on the short-term future of the U.S. men's national team. Mostly, I think it's that we have a far better grasp of Marsch's narrative. Matarazzo snuck up on us, while Marsch's trajectory has been tracked closely from the beginning.

Really, though, what Marsch losing his job in England and the chaos surrounding the U.S. men’s national team’s open managerial position have shown is this: American soccer longs for a coaching star.

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