USMNT Spotlight: How Did Leeds United Become America’s Team?

Many USMNT fans are learning there’s a new team to watch out for in the Premier League.

This season, Leeds United prominently features two American midfield stars – the locomotive Tyler Adams and explosive Brenden Aaronson.

And, as the Red, White, and Blue icing on the American cake, Leeds is also coached by an colonist, the fiery Jesse Marsch.

More on Jumpin’ Jesse in a moment.

The sudden improvement of a Premier League team featuring so many Statesiders is leaving many USMNT fans to wonder – is Leeds United America’s Team? And if they are (they are), how did we get here?

Jesse Marsch got his first big shot in the Red Bull soccer system.

Jesse Marsch became head coach of the MLS’s New York Red Bulls in 2015, winning the MLS Supporter Shield and Coach of the Year on his first try with a team starring young Tyler Adams. 

The NY Red Bulls are one of a few teams owned by the energy-drink maker, who also own Austrian club RB Salzburg and German club RB Leipzig. 

Doing well in the Big Apple meant moving up in the Red Bull system, so Marsch joined RB Leipzig as an assistant in 2018. He then became head coach of RB Salzburg in 2019 and coached Brenden Aaronson in 2020. In 2021, Marsch returned to the Bundesliga as head coach of RB Leipzig, reuniting with Tyler Adams. When Leeds United hired Marsch in February of this year, he became only the third American to coach in the Premier League. Leeds was on the verge of relegation, but Marsch saved them, helping them finish 17th in the table last season.

During the summer transfer window, Marsch got to work on bringing more Americans into the ilk. He started with the energetic and speedy Brenden Aaronson.

Where did Medford Messi come from, and are we all okay with calling him that?

Turns out, he’s from Medford.

Aaronson broke onto the scene in 2019 when he finished runner-up for MLS Rookie of the Year with the Philadelphia Union. After an even better 2020 season, Aaronson was set for a move to Europe.

The then 21-year-old transferred to RB Salzburg, coached by Jesse Marsch. Aaronson began scoring goals quickly and often, finding the back of the net in Salzburg’s Austrian Cup victory. Later that same month, he was picked up by Leeds United. After a stunning first game in the Premier League against the Wolves, Aaronson may already be a Leeds Legend.

But let’s not forget about Tyler Adams just yet…

Midfielder Tyler Adams played in that Leeds United opener against Wolves, too, and played the full 90 minutes. Though BA7 is grabbing all the headlines, Adams has more international and European club experience.

Like Marsch, Adams got his break in the New York Red Bulls system. He joined Marsch at RB Leipzig in 2019, immediately helping the Bundesliga club defeat Tottenham and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League to reach the UCL semis for the first time in team history. Adams is a workhorse known for being everything, everywhere, all at once. 

Adam’s high-energy style of play fit perfectly in the Bundesliga, and Jesse Marsch knew he had to have him when he left for Leeds United and the Premier League.

In conclusion, America’s Team, brought to you by Red Bull, has been a long time coming.

These Americans have been playing together for years, and now they’re winning the highest levels of the sport.

(There’s a ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ pun somewhere to be had here, but I think you get the point.)

If you’re a USMNT fan and you’re not watching Leeds United, maybe it’s time to start.

Featured Image: Pexels/Pixabay/LeedsUnitedFC/DM

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