Euphoria still lingers around the club and its fans as a result of the Red Bulls’ 4-0 Derby annihilation of cross-Hudson River rival NYCFC on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
The win elevated the Red Bulls to 5-3 and into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points, just five points behind second-place NYCFC, which has played two more matches than RBNY.
After a sluggish start to the MLS season, the Red Bulls, who play at Colorado on Saturday, have the look of a team that’s hitting its stride and ready to make a move further up the standings.
So, all seems good with the team … except that all might not be completely harmonious.
According to two league sources who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity, there’s a feeling that Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch has been positioning himself a little too aggressively for the next step in his coaching career. And that, according to the sources, has left some in Red Bulls management a little uncomfortable.
When reached by The Post on Wednesday, a Red Bulls official issued this statement from management: “We are coming off a big performance this Saturday against NYCFC and focused on continuing to have a successful run this season, starting with Saturday’s match in Colorado.’’
This is not to say that there’s complete acrimony inside the walls of the RBNY offices, but there appears to be a restlessness there based on Marsch’s overt ambition to either become the next coach the U.S. Men’s National Team or make a move to one of Red Bull’s international teams — RB Leipzig or FC Red Bull Salzburg.
Since last year, Marsch, 44, has been in pursuit (with the team’s blessing) of his UEFA coaching license, which would help his position to make a move to one of the European clubs, leaving the team for Scotland a few days to take a course last year.
“It’s no secret that Red Bull has clubs over there and there’s a lot of potential opportunities in some of the smaller leagues,” Marsch told Pro Soccer USA last month. “Ambitiously, I would enjoy the opportunity to test myself at a higher level.’’
Marsch’s Red Bulls resume is impressive — even though he’s yet to lead the club to its first MLS Cup title. He was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2015, when he led the club to the Supporters Shield, though the Red Bulls were eliminated in the semifinals of the playoffs.
In 2016, the club also won the Eastern Conference but lost in the quarterfinals. Last season, the club finished sixth and lost in the semifinals.
Marsch also led the Red Bulls to the final of the U.S. Open Cup last year and to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League this season.
All of this has Marsch, who was an assistant for former USMNT coach Bob Bradley at the 2010 World Cup, on the reported short list to take over as the next USMNT coach. That list also includes former USMNT players Tab Ramos, Peter Vermes and Brad Friedel, along with Columbus Crew manager and sporting director Gregg Berhalter and Mexico’s Juan Carlos Osorio.
After the Red Bulls’ win over NYCFC, Marsch appeared on an MLS podcast with ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, who asked him: If he had his choice, would he want the USMNT job, Leipzig or Salzburg?
“Let me say this about first of all the National Team: It’s not a job you campaign for,’’ Marsch said. “It’s a job that, if they come calling, you’re always willing to talk. It’s always an honor to even be considered or thought of for that job.
“Being connected to Red Bull is something that’s been phenomenal for me. Listen, I would love to somehow find a way to get myself to be part of the Red Bull landscape in either Salzburg or Leipzig. I think that’s a big leap right now, but I’m just trying to do good work here and stay aligned with what we do globally. And then we’ll figure things out as we go.’’
According to the league sources, the Red Bulls are prepared to figure things out, too, with a short list of coaching candidates at the ready in case Marsch does bolt RBNY for his next job.
Among those potential candidates are Denis Hamlett, the current Red Bulls sporting director, former RBNY assistant coach and former head coach for Chicago Fire, current Red Bulls assistant Chris Armas and John Wolyniec, the current head coach for Red Bulls II.
Other possible candidates include Berhalter, a New Jersey native, Ramos, former USMNT coach Bruce Arena and Juan Pablo Angel, a former Red Bulls great and who for Aston Villa in EPL.
With the Marsch rumors circulating and gaining traction, Red Bulls fan chat websites already are buzzing about what the club will do next if and when of Marsch departs.
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