Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch, a 14-year Major League Soccer veteran, has announced his retirement as a player, and joins the United States Men's National Team as an assistant coach to head coach Bob Bradley. As one of just three remaining MLS Originals, Marsch played in each of MLS' first 14 seasons, making appearances in a total of 321 regular season and 37 playoff matches. The defensive midfielder won the MLS Cup three times and U.S. Open Cup four times, and also made two appearances for the United States National Team. As vice captain of Chivas USA since joining the club in 2006, Marsch is the second all-time leader for the Red-and-White in games played, games started, and minutes.
"I would like to sincerely thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and supporters for the past 14 excellent years," said Marsch. "Many people have touched my life in a very positive way, and these relationships have shaped and will continue to shape me and my family. I am excited to get started with U.S. Soccer, and I hope for continued success and support within the sport of soccer."
"In the four years since Jesse joined Chivas USA, he has helped shape our franchise both on and off the field," said Chivas USA President and CEO Shawn Hunter. "He always brought incredible passion, dedication, and energy to everything he did throughout his entire career. Jesse meant a great deal to the club, and while we will miss him this season, we wish him the best of luck as he enters his coaching career."
Marsch retires to join the coaching staff of the United States Men's National Team, and will serve as an assistant coach to head coach Bob Bradley. Marsch, who holds a USSF A License, will join the U.S. team for training camp beginning Feb. 10 at The Home Depot Center, ahead of the game against El Salvador on Feb. 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The move reunites him with Bradley, who was his head coach at Chivas USA (2006), with the Chicago Fire (1998-2003), when Bradley was an assistant at D.C. United (1996-1997), and also during four years at Princeton University (1992-1995).
Joining Chivas USA prior to the 2006 season, Jesse Marsch made a total of 106 regular season appearances (103 starts) for the Red-and-White, serving as the club's vice captain and wearing the captain's armband for the bulk of the team's matches in 2008 and 2009. Marsch trails only Francisco Mendoza in games played, games started, and minutes for the club, and the Racine, Wis. native was named Chivas USA's U.S. Soccer Humanitarian of the year in 2009, and earned the Chivas Regal Award in 2007, given to the player who best embodies the spirit of Chivas USA.
Before coming to Chivas USA, Marsch enjoyed an immensely successful eight year run with the Chicago Fire from 1998-2005, helping form the core of a team that won four major titles; the 1998 MLS Cup, and the 1998, 2000, and 2003 U.S. Open Cups. During the team's 1998 double-winning campaign, Marsch played all 450 minutes in five playoff games, and all 360 minutes in four U.S. Open Cup games. The midfielder made a total of 200 regular-season appearances with the Fire (182 starts), playing 16,300 minutes; all three marks are fourth in Chicago history. Marsch was named Chicago Fire's U.S. Soccer Humanitarian of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
In his first two years as a professional, Marsch was a role player for D.C. United, helping the team to MLS Cup wins in 1996 and 1997, and a U.S. Open Cup victory in 1997. In two seasons, Marsch made 15 regular season appearances (1 start), scoring 4 goals and adding three assists. One of the assistant coaches during Marsch's time in D.C. was Bob Bradley, who had been his head coach at Princeton University from 1992-95, and would later serve as his head coach in Chicago (1998-2002) and at Chivas USA (2006). Marsch also made the second of his U.S. National Team appearances under Bradley's direction in 2007.
Jesse Marsch was born November 8, 1973 in Racine, Wis., and graduated from Racine Case High School before heading to Princeton University. An All-American forward in 1995 under Bradley, Marsch was selected in the third round of the 1996 MLS College Draft. In his regular-season MLS career, he played 321 games (286 starts), scoring 31 goals and adding 40 assists, and had three goals and three assists in 37 MLS postseason games (all starts). Now a resident of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Jesse is married to Kim Marsch, with whom he has three children; a daughter, Emerson, and two sons, Maddux and Lennon.
Preseason for the Red-and-White is now underway, with the team going through daily practices at The Home Depot Center. The 2010 regular season kicks off for Chivas USA when the team hosts the Colorado Rapids on Friday, March 26 at 7:30 at The Home Depot Center, and season seats, starting at just $10 per game, are available now at 1-877-CHIVAS-1 and cdchivasusa.com.