In what may be on of the bigger stories of the weekend, and definitely one that few saw coming. The Montreal Impact and head coach Jesse Marsch announced on Saturday that they were going their separate ways.
“I’m leaving the club by mutual agreement,” Marsch announced during a press conference alongside owner Joey Saputo and sporting director Nick de Santis. “It’s not easy with the relationships that we’ve built, but for me it’s the right decision.
“Looking ahead, we realized that while we had the same goals, we do not share the same philosophy,” Marsch told reporters. “This is first and foremost a question of respect for the club, what it has accomplished, and where it is heading in the future. I had several discussions with Joey and Nick to see if we could make it work, and the conclusion was that an amicable split is the best solution going forward.”
The Impact compiled a 12-16-6 season in their first MLS campaign and the 42 points were 11 short of the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Assistants Mike Sorber, Denis Hamlett, Mauro Biello and Philippe Eullaffroy will take over the reins of the club on an interim basis.
According to Saputo, the failure to qualify to the playoffs in their expansion season had nothing to do with the decision.
As quick of a decision as this was for both sides, good of the team and coach to get it done at this point in their offseason and not four months from now in the preseason.
There was an apparent riff between the coach and some of the veteran players like Marco Di Vaio, Alessandro Nesta and a couple others according to some reports. Marsch’s comments about that riff was brief as he basically said no comment on the matter. In a way it sounded like that was a bigger part of this decision by the management in charge.
But the fact remains Marsch is gone from the bench after a pretty good expansion season. Montreal exceeded expectations by a couple of miles for most people around the league, including myself. Does Marsch head back to the west coast and take over Chivas USA when that job comes available? Or will he go elsewhere? If anything he’d be a great assistant to have on the bench for some MLS squad.