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      James began covering the game in 2011 after a slow process of two decades saw him gradually consumed by it. He contributes to The Shin Guardian, Waking the Red, and had a piece featured in Issue Two of The Blizzard, as well as maintaining his own site, Partially Obstructed View. He covers the rest of MLS in the hope of providing context to fans on the edge.

    • The story of Jesse Marsch and the Impact

      Patrick Leduc of La Presse has published a remarkable story today looking at the circumstances surrounding Jesse Marsch’s firing.

      It’s best you read it in French if you can, but a brief English summery of what was reported is below the jump.


      Leduc reported:

      • The Impact were willing to bring Marsch back in 2013, but only if he met certain ultimatums from ownership.
      • Ultimately it was Marsch that decided he could not work in that environment.
      • In 2012, based on the overall league trend, the Impact decided that it was best to hire a MLS experienced manager.
      • At that time, they liked a lot about Marsch – especially his charisma and how he embraced the culture of Quebec and Montreal.
      • However, Marsch was stubborn and not much interested in taking advice from above.
      • Regardless, based on a combination of naivety and insecurity, the Impact gave Marsch carte blanche to start the year.
      • It was Marsch’s decision to draft Brian Ching. The Impact were not happy with how that situation played out.
      • Management was also disappointed with the Eddie Johnson and Donovan Ricketts signings and with Marsch’s resistance to playing Patrice Bernier early in the year.
      • As a result of those concerns, management took control of all player signings in mid-season.
      • Nick De Santis then became the person most responsible for shaping the Impact’s roster. It was at this point that the Impact focused more on Serie A veterans and less on established MLS players.
      • The final straw may have came following the season, when management replaced the fitness and goalkeeping coaches that Marsch hired.
      • In a meeting following the season Marsch gave the Impact an ultimatum – full authority, or he would quit.
      • The decision was made at that time to part ways and a press conference was called for the next day to announce that the two sides had agreed it was in their best interest to move on.
      Comments 17 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Sounds like it was destined to fail from day one.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Thanks for the translation, very helpful.

        Nothing too shocking in there, very helpful.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Joey Saputo is a tool.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        sounds like him leaving was in the best interests for the impact. not playing bernier is a deal breaker imo...home grown quality player-sitting on the bench?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        It will be interesting to see if Marsh has a different version of these events.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        It will be interesting to see if Marsh has a different version of these events.
        Pretty sure Marsch's people ere the main source in the story
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Pretty sure Marsch's people ere the main source in the story
        The French story references "sources close to the club". To me at least, the story makes it sound like Marsch made a lot of bad decisions but front office had no intent on firing him. And then, with the ultimatum that Marsch gave them, they decided to part ways. All in all, IMO, this story looks bad on Marsch and it gives the impression that the front office had no other choice but to fire him.
      1. Soccerpro's Avatar
        Soccerpro -
        To be fair to the Impact, Marsch made some bad moves (Ching, Johnson, Ricketts)
        To be fair to Marsch, the Impact brass have always been difficult to deal with as a coach.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Wouldn't choosing Wenger over Mattocks be considered a bad decision, as well?
      1. Registrado's Avatar
        Registrado -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Joey Saputo is a tool.
        He may be a tool, but at least he's involved and gives a crap. Only now, seven years in, can Toronto fans say the same is starting to emerge here, and that's after a club ownership change.

        Let's see how his MLSerie A vision pans out in a few years time...
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        The French story references "sources close to the club". To me at least, the story makes it sound like Marsch made a lot of bad decisions but front office had no intent on firing him. And then, with the ultimatum that Marsch gave them, they decided to part ways. All in all, IMO, this story looks bad on Marsch and it gives the impression that the front office had no other choice but to fire him.
        This thing reads like an infomercial for Saputo-Impact upper management, especially considering that it's written by a loyal Impact soldier (Le Duc). I would like to hear Marsch's side of the story, like Winter was afforded by Molinaro after Coch-ariner's presser threw the Dutchman under the bus.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        This thing reads like an infomercial for Saputo-Impact upper management, especially considering that it's written by a loyal Impact soldier (Le Duc). I would like to hear Marsch's side of the story, like Winter was afforded by Molinaro after Coch-ariner's presser threw the Dutchman under the bus.
        Not sure how often you read Leduc's articles or watch his appearances on RDS, but he can be very critical of the IMFC FO when he needs to. I believe the version he wrote in his article is pretty much what happened. Everything he wrote makes sense. Nothing indicated at the end of the season, that they were going to fire Jesse (we knew we would be on a short leash for 2013). Something happened suddenly, Jesse challenged the FO and lost.

        Marsch has his qualities and share responsibilities in the success of the club last season, but the truth is, IMFC started to win after the FO (NDS + JS) took some responsibilities off Jesse's hands which were leading IMFC nowhere. Not playing Bernier, Ching, Ricketts, Eddie Johnson, were all Marsch's moves that forced the FO to do what they did because they felt it was going to get much worst if they did nothing.

        I would love to hear Marsch's side of the story too. He would probably said they didn't give him time to do his things, traded players he wanted (Braun, Wahl, Ricketts) and signed players that didn't fit his vision (Di Vaio, Nesta).
      1. BCM's Avatar
        BCM -
        Signing Johnson was not a mistake. Trading him for little (and now nothing) was - I haven't read the original, but is this translation correct?
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        They claimed Johnson on the allocation ranking and trade him to Seattle for Fucito and Neagle. Both where traded later for international roster spots (to POR and SEA). Neagle did an honest job while he was here but he is the kind of player that can be replaced easily.

        They knew EJ didn't want to play anywhere than in the US. I think is the deal with Seattle was negotiated before they officially claim him.

        Not sure what the rules for the allocation ranking process are, but I guess they could have just pass on EJ...
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        They claimed Johnson on the allocation ranking and trade him to Seattle for Fucito and Neagle. Both where traded later for international roster spots (to POR and SEA). Neagle did an honest job while he was here but he is the kind of player that can be replaced easily.

        They knew EJ didn't want to play anywhere than in the US. I think is the deal with Seattle was negotiated before they officially claim him.

        Not sure what the rules for the allocation ranking process are, but I guess they could have just pass on EJ...
        That's my point - leaving him unclaimed would have been a mistake/foolish. Why not have him or an asset in a trade. Trading him for little (and now nothing) was the mistake. I understand he forced the deal, but the return ended up to be very little. That, not originally claiming him, was the mistake.

        BCM
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        True. Marsch should have gotten more out of EJ. Although, it's easier said today, after he scored 14 goals than when he wanted to be back in MLS, at a time when he was scoreless striker since 2009 in Greece and England leagues.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Marsh made mistakes, as any manager will over the year. Ownership made mistakes too. I don't' see anything here that is really damning to the Impact or their former coach.

        At the end of the day, this is really a situation where the impact were inclined to go in the direction the league wanted at first, but later realized that this was at odds with what they wanted as an organization. That left Marsh in an odd spot and he was in a situation where he'd have to yield to Saputo on major aspects of what he was doing or agree to walk away. I can't blame him for deciding it wasn't going to work.

        As for Saputo, it would have been nice if they decided a European flavor is what they wanted from the get-go as opposed to having a re-think, but oh well. I wouldn't over think the past track record of foreign coaches in MLS and such things. The league has changed a lot over the years and it's probably a bit easier to transfer skills now than it was before. Taking a chance on something different shouldn't be frowned on, especially when you consider how montreal as a franchise is unique to the league. Their path to success might be different than others. The standard MLS option might not be a viable one.
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