Jesse Marsch’s first season as a head coach in Europe now officially includes the double, as Red Bull Salzburg secured the Austrian Bundesliga title over the weekend. It’s the seventh straight time they’ve finished as top-flight leaders, following an Austrian Cup title in late May.
Salzburg sit nine points clear of Rapid Wien with two games left in their 2019-20 campaign, ensuring they’re mathematically guaranteed first place after last weekend’s 3-0 dispatch of Hartberg. Their efforts were boosted when previous league leaders LASK Linz were deducted points for holding team training sessions in violation of COVID-19 pandemic rules.
Marsch, the former MLS and US men’s national team midfielder, previously coached the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls before progressing through the latter’s global network. That produced Marsch’s stop in 2018-19 as an assistant coach at RB Leipzig, before replacing Marco Rose this year when he departed to lead Borussia Monchengladbach.
Marsch is the first American manager to win a European title, and it’s come in dominant fashion with 102 goals scored and a plus-70 goal differential. He also weathered the wintertime departures of striker Erling Haaland and winger Takumi Minamino to Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, respectively.
Salzburg’s season included a memorable Champions League foray in Group E, though struggles against Liverpool and Napoli resulted in their passage to the Europa League. They eventually fell to Eintracht Frankfurt in that secondary competition, but this 2019-20 double ensures that Champions League soccer awaits again next year.