HARRISON, NJ — The first and last questions New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch faced during a press conference Monday afternoon were about the team’s tumultuous offseason that saw him linked with a move to Red Bull Salzburg and the club’s decision to part ways with sporting director Ali Curtis after weeks of uncertainty.
Marsch spoke, but was coy on going into depth on either question.
“In the near future, there will be more clarity about the overall structure of the club,” Marsch said. “There’s been some questions about decision making without Ali being here and there’s been a lot of shared decision making kind of like how it always has been so not much has changed. So that’s where we’re at right now and we’ll announce more in the future.”
The shared decision-making Marsch alluded to can be seen with the process taken in signing right back Amir Murillo on loan from San Francisco FC. Assistant coach Denis Hamlett said he traveled to Panama to speak with Murillo, then shared the feedback with Marsch before the move was finalized. Despite speculation that he is the new sporting director, Hamlett said his role within the club has not changed.
“My role right now is that I’m the assistant coach of the New York Red Bulls getting the team ready for the biggest game of our season which is this Wednesday against Vancouver,” Hamlett said, referring to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg against the Whitecaps (8 pm ET, UDN/CONCACAF's Facebook page).
The last question Marsch faced on Monday was on the nature of the discussions he had while in Europe and whether he was considered for the Red Bull Salzburg head coaching job.
“There’s not really too much to say,” Marsch said. “I’ll take it for flattery. I don’t know if it is or people wanting to sensationalize certain things in the media. I will say this: being part of this club and being part of the global brand has been a real privilege.
"I’ve learned from some really great people within the Red Bull global system, the different coaches that coach the clubs, the sporting directors and some of the older mentors that are within the club and helped me in many big ways and the support that they’ve given me is incredible and allowed me to do my job to the best of my abilities.”
Asked again if he had been offered the manager's role for the Austrian club, he said no.
“That was a really long way of saying no.”