Former New York Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch has earned a historic first piece of hardware in charge of his new club, taking the reins of Red Bull Salzburg's 5-0 Austrian Cup final victory over second-division side Austria Lustenau on Friday.
Not only was it a significant professional milestone for Marsch, it also represented the first European trophy win ever for a coach born and raised in the US.
It was easy going in RB Salzburg's first match since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play earlier this year, with Marsch's men taking a 2-0 lead into halftime. The hardware represents the second major trophy Marsch has earned as a head coach, having guided RBNY to the 2015 Supporters' Shield, and his first in Europe, and even celebrated in a socially-distanced style appropriate for the times:
Marsch departed the Red Bulls in 2018, midway through another Supporters' Shield-winning season to take an assistant position at RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, then assumed the reigns at sister club Salzburg to start this season.
The match marked the beginning of a return of domestic football in Austria, with the league set to resume on June 2 with the start of the league's championship and relegation rounds. Salzburg were also handed a big boost in their quest for that title this week, as previous league leaders LASK Linz were deducted points on Thursday for holding team training sessions in violation of pandemic rules. Though LASK will appeal the penalty, the decision currently changes Salzburg's three-point deficit to a three-point lead in the title race with 10 games to play.