Leipzig (dpa) – It wasn’t long ago that Jesse Marsh didn’t recognize his compatriot Pellegrino Matarazzo.
At that time they were still in the second grade, Matarazzo worked as an assistant coach at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, and Marsh was assistant head coach Ralf Rangnick at RB Leipzig. When the two teams met in the Bundesliga, a 1.98-meter giant suddenly stood next to Marsh shortly before the match. “A few years ago in Hoffenheim a tall guy came up to me and said with a great American accent, ‘Jesse, how are you?'” says Marsh. “At first I thought of this?” was clicked only shortly thereafter.
Two American coaches meet
On Friday (8:30 PM / DAZN), Matarazzo and Mars will meet again, and this meeting will take place again under new auspices. In the 1990s they met as students in the United States, defense specialist Matarazzo met his university team on a somewhat more offensive career. That bizarre encounter between the assistant coaches at Hoffenheim ensued many years later, but the culmination of the joint encounter is only now: in the duel between Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart, Marsh and Matarazzo face each other for the first time as head coach. There has never been a duel between two American coaches in the Bundesliga before.
“I can understand it’s a special moment for American citizens,” Matarazzo said Thursday. RB coach Marsh was very impressed with this historic match, so to speak: “A few years ago it was unimaginable that American coaches would have a team in a major league.” Football is not as popular in the United States as it was in the 1990s. But when compared to sports like basketball, ice hockey, baseball, or soccer, soccer in the United States still lags far behind the table. And yet – or because of it – Matarazzo and Marsh made it to the top as coaches.
Her football talent was an admission ticket to two of the most famous universities in the country. In addition to studying applied mathematics, the 43-year-old Matarazzo played football for the team at the prestigious Columbia University in New York. a map. “I owe everything to this ball that you chase in the park,” Marsh said recently in an interview with the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. He brought the former MLS professional Rangnick to Leipzig in 2018, where he began his rise to the Bundesliga via RB Salzburg.
Thanks to VfB, Matarazzo has given him the trust of a professional team for the first time in 2019. And VfB officials trust the father of the family more. “Pellegrino Matarazzo is the best we have. Renault becomes one hundred percent coach of the Champions League. “He has everything for that,” sporting director Sven Mislintat said shortly before the start of the season. But Matarazzo first wants to upset fellow American fencing partner Marsh. After 0:1 on the first match day in Mainz, title contender RB is under pressure against league leaders VfB. Matarazzo of all people could spoil his countryman at first.
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