So far, Jesse Marsch is Leading the Red Bulls to a Good Start

Marsch’s pressure style and belief of the players has them undefeated
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Monday, April 13, 2015

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

When everything changed at a blink of an eye as the 2015 calendar year started, many were enraged at what happened to the changing of the head coaching position and at the same time the NY Media was wondering why a change had to be made in haste.

We won’t rehash everything that happened to Mike Petke this past offseason and we won’t compare the last two seasons to the start of this season, because the truth is that it’s unfair to both men who have done good things for the club.

But Jesse Marsch’s start so far has pushed the right buttons. In four games, the club has earned eight out of a possible twelve points with a win and two draws on the road and a big home opening win against hated rivals DC United.

A good core of players is still playing and a few additions have showed some good promise to this season. First, the backline as we have seen injuries happen to Costa Rican Roy Miller and recent pick up from French Ligue 1 in central defender Ronald Zubar.

So filling in fantastically has been academy product Matt Miazga who has improved dramatically paring with Damien Perrinelle and Jamaican defender Kemar Lawrence, who’s hustle and vibrance has helped in a big way. Seeing Dax McCarty getting the captain’s armband was a great move and he has the respect of the players in the locker room. Dax, paired with Felipe as two defensive midfielders in the Ambroise Oyongo trade, has made the club strong down the middle of the field.

You can also see Lloyd Sam getting more involved in the offense as he isn’t just bringing the ball up the right side, he’s also getting into position to score some more goals. The return of Dane Richards when subbed in has allowed Sam to get in more centrally and putting more shots on frame. Sacha Kljestan at the moment in the central midfield role and helping out with service is also a big help, but seeing Bradley Wright-Phillips tally two goals in four games so far is a great sign as he is active and getting service.

But there is a concern with this high pressure tactic that needs to be addressed and it’s the left winged midfield position. Both Mike Grella and Sal Zizzo have been switching either as starters or subs and right now that position has been lacking production. Marsch needs to find a way to make one of the two the permanent starter and the permanent substitute and I feel that Grella should come off the bench.

But outside of that the Red Bulls who many thought would start off horribly have actually came out of the gates running. The real issue is simple and that is they still have stars on this team with McCarty, BWP, Sam, Robles, and Kljestan. But they don’t have superstars like they had with Thierry Henry who retired, Tim Cahill who moved on to play in China and it sounds like Peguy Luyindula who is still deciding might be retiring from the sport.

Overall the fans, who were exploding like volcano’s against Jesse Marsch, are starting to fall in love with him. To be fair this start has been the best this team has ever had either as the MetroStars or the Red Bulls. Plenty of season left in 2015 and something could go wrong, but right now Marsch is pushing the right buttons.


Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.