Jesse Marsch let his frustration vent when he talked with Andrew Wiebe on Extra Time Radio today. During the extensive interview, Wiebe seemed to sense some bubbling frustration from Marsch regarding his team’s schedule to start the season, which requires his side to cross the continent twice in the first month of the season. Wiebe eventually asked him about the Atlanta trip in particular, and here’s what Marsch had to say.
“Yeah, we asked the league to help us out and give us a Western Conference opponent in that first game, and so, you know, they did us a favor by sending us to Atlanta. So that worked out really well. But, you know, whatever. This is the way the schedule works in our league, and you have to fly across the country five or six times during the year and you have to be prepared to play in those matches.”
New York will battle Vancouver Whitecaps this Thursday in CONCACAF Champions League before opening their regular season campaign in Atlanta three days later. Red Bulls return home to New Jersey following their trip to Atlanta for one game (vs. Colorado) before going back to the Pacific Northwest to play Portland.
To be fair to Marsch, it seems crazy for the team to have this much travel this early in the season. But CONCACAF Champions League is a different competition, and MLS can’t be required to make it easy on teams based on their schedule in that competition. Red Bulls got shafted here, no doubt, but it’s still surprising to see the manager publicly verbalize those frustrations.