Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch won the MLS Coach of the Year Award, it was announced on Tuesday.
Marsch, in his first year with the Red Bulls, led the team to the best record in MLS and the Supporters’ Shield. He is the first coach in franchise history to be named Coach of the Year. He has come a long way since hearing boos on opening night from fans still unhappy that Mike Petke was fired.
Their record of 18-10-6 was the best in MetroStars/Red Bulls franchise history. They also set franchise marks in wins with 18 and home wins with 12.
The Red Bulls opened the season with a seven-game unbeaten streak, the longest in MLS this season. They then hit a rough patch in May and June, and a win at Yankee Stadium over NYC FC on June 28 was the turning point.
They finished the season with a 14-5-1 record over the last 20 games.
They had the second-most road wins in MLS, and had a 6-7-4 record on the road. They scored the most road goals in the MLS, 27, and were the only team with a positive goal differential on the road.
Marsch is the sixth former MLS player to win the award. During his 14-year career, he played for four coaches when they won the MLS Coach of the Year award: Bruce Arena with DC United in 1997, Bob Bradley with the Chicago Fire in 1998, Dave Sarachan with Chicago in 2003, and Preki with Chivas USA in 2007.
The MLS Coach of the Year was voted on by MLS club management, media, and MLS players. Marsch received 50 percent of the votes from club management, and just over 65 percent of the vote from the media.
Marsch edged out Oscar Pareja of Dallas and Carl Robinson of Vancouver for the award.
The Red Bulls are in the Eastern Conference Finals, and will be hosting the second leg this Sunday against the Columbus Crew at Red Bulls Arena. They lost the first leg in Columbus on Sunday, 2-0.
They beat DC United 2-0 on aggregate in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.