By the sheer dint of longevity, Jesse Marsch proves to be an inspiration. Marsch joined the MLS at inception and is one of only two players to have played all 14 seasons. The other is Jaime Moreno, who when he takes the field for DC United this year will be playing in his 15th season.
Marsch announced his retirement yesterday from the MLS to take on his new role assisting Bob Bradley in preparing for this summer's World Cup. In all, Marsch appeared in 321 regular season matches plus 27 playoff appearances winning three league championships and four U.S. Open Cups. He scored 34 goals and had 43 assists and holds the Fire record of most appearances for the club.
The two have a long association, dating back to Marsch's freshman days at Princeton where Bradley was the Tigers coach. He reunited with Bradley who was DC United's assistanct coach when the fledgling MLS came into existence in 1996. He was also Bradley's pick in the Chicago Fire's first season as an expansion team in 1998. Their paths crossed once again when Marsch was traded to Chivas in 2005, the year Bradley took over the club. In all, Marsch
It is safe to say that Bradley's decision to bring Marsch on board stems from those long years in which he got to see his qualities firsthand.
"I have had the opportunity to work with Jesse for many years, and I believe the knowledge and experience he brings will be a great benefit to both the players and the coaching staff," said Bradley
Marsch's reputation as a tough, uncompromising holding midfielder will also be appreciated in a department that the US could do well to improve. Both Ricardo Clark and Michael Bradley stand to benefit from his tutelage. Marsch hints that he might be take an active role in training and talking tactics.
"He [Bradley] feels I have certain qualities and can help with the group," Marsch said. "I've already been studying a lot of videotape and going through some different things with the team. There'll be a little of everything, but in the end I think my most important role will just be working with the guys and the staff and continuing to create a good environment every day."
As the iconic picture shows above, there is a chance that Marsch and Beckham might reacquaint themselves this World Cup.