MLS have named New York Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch MLS Coach of the Year over FC Dallas manager Oscar Pareja and Vancouver Whitecaps boss Carl Robinson. After replacing club legend Mike Petke last offseason, Marsch led the Red Bulls to a 18-10-6 (W-L-D) record good for 60 points and the club's second MLS Supporters' Shield in three years as well as the second in franchise history. This is the first coach of the year winner in New York/New Jersey Red Bulls/Metrostars history. This is also Marsch’s first Coach of the Year award.
The Racine, Wisconsin native and former 14-year MLS veteran Marsch takes the title from DC United manager Ben Olsen, who won the award last season after compiling a 17-9-8 record, losing in the 1st round of the MLS Cup Playoffs to the New York Red Bulls.
Prior to this season, Marsch was the manager of the Montreal Impact for their inaugural season. During that year, the Impact went 12-16-6. After that, Marsch left the Impact and worked in the MLS Offices with Ali Curtis, the Red Bulls current sporting director.
What Marsch has done this season is pretty amazing given that he came in facing remarkable animosity from the fans after replacing Mike Petke and losing big name players like Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. The Red Bulls got one new DP this year in Gonzalo Veron, unlike their New York City rivals who got three big name designated players and didn’t finish in the playoffs this season. The New York Red Bulls entire base salary this season is $3,262,738, while last season Henry was making 3.75 million dollars. The Red Bulls season has been unlike any in franchise history, given the size of the wage bill which it has happened on.
According to MLSSoccer.com, the award is voted on by every team’s management, media and players. 50.91% of the management voted Marsch as the award winner, 64.79% of the media voted Marsch as the winner and 36.36% of the players voted him the winner.
In Marsch’s first season at the helm of the Red Bulls, he has brought them to the Eastern Conference Final where they currently are in a precarious place down 2-0 on aggregate going to the 2nd leg at Red Bull Arena this weekend.