After less than half a season in charge of the ambitious German club, RB Leipzig announced on Sunday morning that they have parted ways with American head coach Jesse Marsch by mutual agreement.
The departure ends a short tenure as coach of the Bundesliga club for Marsch, after a disappointing run that included only five wins from their first 14 league games and a single win in their difficult Champions League group.
“RB Leipzig and head coach Jesse Marsch have mutually agreed to part ways,” the club announced on their website. “The decision is the result of an in-depth analysis and intensive discussions after the Bundesliga match against Union Berlin.”
The tipping point came as a result of Leipzig 2-1 loss at Union Berlin on Friday night, after which club CEO Oliver Mintzlaff made ominous statements about the coach’s future.
“That was a desolate performance,” Mintzlaff stated after the game, later adding “We’re not going to bury our heads in the sand until Christmas and hope that the new year will be better.”
Prior to Sunday’s departure, Marsch had risen rapidly as a coach through the Red Bull system, guiding their New York farm team in MLS from 2015-2018, briefly stopping in Leipzig to serve under current Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick as an assistant, before taking over Red Bull Salzburg for two seasons, where he won the Austrian Bundesliga and Cup titles in both seasons.
His transfer to Leipzig, officially announced in late-April, came as no surprise, however his inability to guide the Bundesliga club to the same level of success as last season, where they finished second in league play, runners-up in the German Cup, and reached the round of 16 in Champions League, ultimately ensured a short tenure.
Mintzlaff elaborated on the decision in the official press release, stating, “It was not easy for us to part company with Jesse Marsch, because I hold Jesse in high regard as a person and as a coach.”
“It is a shame that things did not work out as we had hoped with this setup, and that this step has now become necessary. Unfortunately, the development we were hoping for and the results needed to achieve our goals for the season have not been achieved.”
Marsch was magnanimous in his own statements about his sudden departure, admitting that consistency has been an issue this season, and wishing the club well under the new leadership.
“I am very grateful to be part of the Red Bull family and to have been given this opportunity! Up until the very end, I remained hopeful that after a troubled start to the season and inconsistent performances, we would find more cohesion and stability as a group and turn our fortunes around. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to do that – after a discussion with Oliver Mintzlaff, we came to the joint decision to make a change in the coaching position.”
“I keep only positive thoughts in my mind and wish for the club, the team, the staff and all the fans that RB Leipzig finds its way back to its old strengths very quickly and, given the quality in the team and in the club, I am sure that the club will achieve its goals.”
11th-place Leipzig have four more games before the winter break begins, beginning with a home match against Manchester City in Champions League, a game which could decide whether they will enter the Europa League group stage, and subsequent league games against Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Augsburg and Arminia Bielefeld.
Current assistant coach Achim Beierlorzer will temporarily take the reigns for the squad, which includes USMNT captain Tyler Adams, while the team searches for a permanent replacement.