From town hall hell to MLS Coach of the Year: What a year it's been for Jesse Marsch.
The New York Red Bulls manager was honored as the league's top manager in 2015 on Tuesday, besting FC Dallas's Oscar Pareja and Vancouver Whitecaps' Carl Robinson. Marsch inherited a team in turmoil after the surprise firing of Mike Petke following a season in which the Red Bulls came within a game of MLS Cup.
They find themselves in the same position heading into the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final, which they will host against the Columbus Crew while needing to make up a 2-0 deficit.
In his first season at the Red Bulls' helm, Marsch guided the club to the league's Supporters' Shield, with the best record in the regular season. He transformed the club's style and identity a year after it parted ways with the likes of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. The Red Bulls scored a league-best 62 goals and set a new club standard for wins in a regular season with 18.
Marsch is the franchise's first winner of the award, and he joins goalkeeper Luis Robles as club individuals taking home postseason hardware. He won the club management (50.9%) and media vote (64.8%) but was edged by Pareja in the player vote (39.1% to 36.3%).