Red_bulls_coaches_-_asn_top_-__isi_-_2018_-_howard_c._smith Howard C. Smith/ISI

Three thoughts on the coaching shakeup for the New York Red Bulls

Jesse Marsch has left the Red Bulls and Chris Armas takes over. There is a lot to digest from this big news shakeup and Brian Sciaretta is here to offer his thoughts
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
July 06, 2018
7:05 AM
While it was expected, there was massive shakeup at the New York Red Bulls on Friday as Jesse Marsch stepped down as head coach and was replaced by longtime assistant and former United States national team midfielder Chris Armas.

The official release said Marsch was leaving to pursue other opportunities but Bild reported earlier this week that Marsch was going to take the job at RB Leipzig for one year until Julian Nagelsmann takes the job in 2019.

Meanwhile, Armas will get the gig on a full time, not interim, basis. Armas, 45, is a native of the Bronx and has strong local ties. As a player, Armas was highly decorated for his time. He won U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2000 and totaled 66 appearances for the National Team. He was named to the 2002 World Cup team but tore his ACL in a tune-up friendly. He was named to the MLS Best XI five times in his career.

Here are some thoughts on the shakeup.

Marsch taking a risk

If Marsch is indeed heading to take the RB Leipzig gig on a one year interim role, it is a risk. He has a great gig with the New York Red Bulls and is widely considered as one of the best young American managers in the game.

But history has shown that getting a head coaching gig in Europe is really hard for Americans. Bob Bradley worked tirelessly for a shot and getting a foot in the door requires an American coach to take a risk. The window Marsch is given is very limited but he will have an opportunity to impress. If he does, it could open up other opportunities once Nagelsmann arrives next year.

But to take this risk, he is giving up a great job in New York and perhaps a shot at becoming the next U.S. national team coach. 

It’s a gutsy and admirable move.

The expanding Bob Bradley coaching tree

Not only was Bob Bradley the first American born/raised coach to make inroads in Europe, what is just as impressive is the influence he has on younger American coaches. So many of his former players are now coaches or in the front office at clubs.

With regards to today, Jesse Marsch is a protégé of Bradley. Chris Armas also played under Bradley at the Chicago Fire.

Huge opportunity for Armas

As Marsch moves on, it opens the door for another American coach in Chris Armas. This is what you want to see for the growth of the sport in this country. The more younger American coaches in the game, the better.

Armas has been deeply entrenched in the Red Bull system since joining the organization in 2015. He is well respected and knows the players and the system well.

The decision to go with Armas over John Wolyniec was interesting as the latter has done a first rate job coaching the Red Bulls II team where he has won a USL title and helped prepare numerous player to a smooth transition to the first team at one of the league’s best teams.

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