Jesse Marsch Charges Frank Lampard With Anti-American Bias Over Pulisic Treatment

The RB Salzburg coach said the Chelsea boss didn’t realize the talent he had with Pulisic.

We at The18 figured it was true, but at least now we have one of the brightest minds in world football saying it too. 

Jesse Marsch, whose rising profile at RB Salzburg makes him arguably the most popular American soccer coach in the world, said this week what we were all thinking about Christian Pulisic’s playing time at the start of his career at Chelsea. On the Extratime podcast this week, Marsch claimed Chelsea coach Frank Lampard had to overcome his anti-American bias before finally giving Pulisic the playing time he deserved.

At about 39:25 in the above podcast, Marsch began answering a question about how to get MLS to become a selling league. His response focused on the anti-American bias that exists in Europe, with Pulisic as the prime example.

“The perception in Europe, mostly, is that the American player is willing to run, willing to fight, they have good mentalities, but technically they’re not very gifted and tactically they’re not very aware and their experiences aren’t very big,” Marsch said on the Extratime podcast. “But we’re seeing that change. We’re seeing more and more of these players develop themselves.

“Even Frank Lampard, when I spoke to him in preseason a year ago now, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic, and he was kind of like: ‘Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn, so we’ll see how he does.’ I said to him: ‘Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful.’

“He was considered one of the best young players in Germany, and that’s in a group of players with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Joshua Kimmich, these kinds of players. He was in a group with those players, and it’s not just because he was talented, but it was because he understood the tactics and understood how to fit in the game and he was developing a real astute way of how to play.

“I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany. Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.

“Christian had to fight for that, which is the American quality, but he’s a damn good player. Same with Gio Reyna, same with Tyler Adams, same with Weston McKennie.”

It’s hard to argue with Marsch, and why would we want to? He knows what he’s talking about and in many cases has seen it firsthand. 

The whole podcast is worth a listen, at least the interview with Marsch. The Wisconsin native talked about RB Salzburg’s recent signing of Brenden Aaronson, with strong praise for the 19-year-old (he turns 20 on Oct. 22). Aaronson broke the record for highest transfer fee for a homegrown player when Salzburg signed him last week. 

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