American Football Coach in England

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American Football Coach in England: New Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch will be just the third American to manage in the English Premier League.

Marsch is tasked with replacing Marcelo Bielsa as he looks to keep Leeds in the Premier League, and his appointment is significant as it could help to alter the wider perception of American football.

After Bob Bradley’s short stint at Swansea and David Wagner’s spell at Huddersfield, Marsch will be looking to demonstrate that he can make a major impact in England’s top flight.

Here’s a look at the importance of Marsch’s appointment and an assessment of the other American coaches who have managed in Europe.

American Football Coach in England

American managers in the Premier League

Just two American managers have managed in the Premier League previously – Bob Bradley and David Wagner.

Bob Bradley

Former USA boss Bradley was named Swansea City manager in October 2016 following the dismissal of Francesco Guidolin. Bradley became the first American to manage in the Premier League and his appointment was met with widespread criticism from fans amid suggestions that he was only appointed due to the club having American owners.

Bradley was sacked in December 2016 after losing seven of his eleven games in charge – he also won two matches and lost two.

David Wagner

The second American to manage in the Premier League was David Wagner. In 2015, Wagner, whose only previous managerial experience came when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund’s reserve team, was named as manager of Huddersfield.

Wagner guided Huddersfield to promotion to the Premier League in 2017 and managed to keep them in the division the following season before his contract was terminated by mutual consent in January 2019.

American coaches in the Premier League

Chris Armas

Former New York Red Bulls and Toronto coach Chris Armas was hired by Manchester United in December 2021 to work with the club’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

According to a report by ESPN in February 2022, some United players are frustrated with Armas and the club’s training sessions, which have been described as ‘old-fashioned.’

American managers in Europe

Gregg Berhalter, the current USA manager, previously coached Swedish side Hammarby IF. Appointed in 2011, he was the first American to ever manage a professional football team in Europe. Berhalter’s spell in charge lasted until July 2013, when he was sacked for a lack of attacking play.

Other Americans have subsequently managed in Europe. Current Stuttgart boss Pellegrino Matarazzo was born in the USA. Brian Clarhaut has also coached in Sweden with Nykopings and is currently with Umea. Joe Enochs is the manager of Zwickau in the German third tier and Mike Keeney coaches HIFK Helsinki in the top tier of Finnish football.

Bob Bradley also spent time elsewhere in Europe outside of his time with Swansea City. He managed Norwegian club Stabaek and French side Le Havre at various points in his career. Marsch, meanwhile, has managed Austrian club RB Salzburg before moving to German club RB Leipzig, both obviously coming prior to his appointment with Leeds.

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