Perfect start: Jesse Marsch finds 'absolute joy' in Austria

Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg made it nine wins in nine games under American coach Jesse Marsch when it crushed Belgian champion Genk, 6-2, in its opening game in the UEFA Champions League.

The match was the first an American has ever coached in the Champions League and Salzburg's first in the group stage of the Champions League in a quarter century and the first time since Austrian-based purchased the club in 2005.

Salzburg has dominated Austrian soccer, winning eight of the last 10 league titles, but each year it failed to advance through qualifying. Its break came this year when Austria's coefficient was high enough -- thanks to Salzburg's success in the last two Europa Leagues -- that it received an automatic berth in the Champions League's group stage.

Salzburg has rolled to eight straight wins in eight domestic matches to start the season -- seven in the Bundesliga by a margin of 34-6 and one by the score of 7-0 in the Austrian Cup.

But in a group with defending champion Liverpool -- featuring former Salzburg players Sadio Mane and Naby Keita -- and Napoli -- which opened on Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Liverpool --  -- Marsch termed the opening game of the Champions League against Genk a must-win game.

And Salzburg didn't disappoint, getting a hat trick from Norwegian teenager Erling Braut Haaland in a first half during which it build up a 5-1 advantage.

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality, though, as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

Haaland's hat trick gave him 17 goals in nine games this season and made him the third youngest player to ever score three goals in a Champions League game.

Part of the Red Bull network of clubs that includes RB Leipzig and MLS's New York Red Bulls, Salzburg has developed a reputation as one of Europe's best clubs at recruiting young talent. Marsch's multi-national lineup included players from Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Hungary, Japan and South Korea in addition to Haaland, who scored nine goals for Norway against Honduras in the 2019 U-20 World Cup.

"It is an absolute joy to work with this team," he said. "We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight."
5 comments about "Perfect start: Jesse Marsch finds 'absolute joy' in Austria".
  1. frank schoon, September 18, 2019 at 12:48 p.m.

    "We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others". Don't bother sending your kid there to learn the game....He's got that German DNA....Run and Fight.....I"m glad he's no longer coaching in the MLS....

  2. Chris Wasdyke replied, September 18, 2019 at 6:37 p.m.

    The 4 world cup champions DNA?

  3. frank schoon replied, September 18, 2019 at 8:39 p.m.

    Yes Chris, regardless of 4 WC . Germans have always been a good tournament team, and can be successful with a fighting spirit. Germany finally wised up and realized around 2005 they needed to change their style of game to  a more sophisticated type of game for they were falling way behind other countries. They chose to follow the Dutch philosophy of play ,a country that never won  the WC but achieved second place four times. It resulted in Germany playing nice ball as shown when they played beat  Brazil 7-1 WC14.
    But unfortunately the Dutch influence hasgreatly diminished since van Gaal and Guardiola coached , resulting in  Germany beginning to rely a lot more  on running ,fighting and counter attacking, in other words their DNA. 

  4. Tom G, September 18, 2019 at 8:19 p.m.

     Negativity negative comments negative thoughts oh my god why do I even read these comments whining Central it is. 

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, September 18, 2019 at 11:04 p.m.

    German soccer culture is different than Spanish soccer culture. Articles and books about Pep's time at Bayern discuss the differences and how Pep adapted Dutch style principles to the German culture.

    I don't consider it negative, but rather a very interesting topic.

    Another interesting contrast--Mexico plays more like the US (especially like the US WNT) than it does Spain. Tata may change that. There has been lots of interesting developments over the last 5 years.

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