Americans Abroad: Jesse Marsch appointed Leeds manager, Sergino Dest earns praise from Xavi

Lizzy Becherano
Jesse Marsch becomes manager of Leeds United
Jesse Marsch becomes manager of Leeds United / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Jesse Marsch made history this week by being appointed Leeds United manager, becoming the third American to lead a Premier League team after Bob Bradley and David Wagner.

Americans abroad in European leagues were also active as Christian Pulisic featured for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and Sergino Dest immersed himself in Barcelona’s starting 11. 

This is the latest on American figures abroad..

1. Sergino Dest earns praise from Xavi

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League
Sergino Dest earns praise from Xavi / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Dest has become a staple for Barcelona’s Xavi, earning high praise from the head coach.

The American defender helped Barcelona triumph 4-0 against Athletic Club on Sunday at Camp Nou, earning the side their third consecutive victory. He started at left back with veteran Dani Alves taking his spot on the right side of Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation.

Dest completed 95% of his passes in the shutout, while also completing two dribbles and one interception.

“I feel good on a personal level, Xavi gave me the trust now to play again,” he said after Barcelona’s 4-1 victory over Villarreal on February 20. “If I don’t play, I always train harder to get into the team again, so I will never stop. So, if I don’t play, I train really hard to get my stamina back and everything and get stronger. And when I can play, I try to show that I want to be there.”

"Everyone is improving," Xavi said in a news conference on Sunday.

"Let's take Sergino as an example. When we got here, he wasn't doing so well, but now he is doing great. I thought he was spectacularly good against Valencia, both with the ball and without it. I am really happy with his progress."

2. Ethan Horvath records first Championship shutout

Ethan Horvath
Ethan Horvath features for Nottingham Forest / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made an appearance for Nottingham Forest in their 0-0 draw with Preston North End. It was the player’s first feature for the club since September 15.

He made four overall saves, and three in the second half, stopping opponents from anything too threatening to earn applause from head coach Steve Cooper.

“In the second half, we never really got going and they piled on the pressure,” Cooper said post match in a club interview. “Ethan Horvath, who I thought was excellent, made a great save.”

Subsequently, Horvath was given the opportunity to start in goal again on Saturday as Nottingham Forest defeated Bristol City 2-0.

3. Jesse Marsch appointed Leeds United manager

American Jesse Marsch was appointed new Leeds manager three months after his time with RB Leipzig came to an end.

Marsch was appointed as the new manager of United on Monday, one day after the club parted ways with Marcelo Bielsa as previously reported by 90min.

“We are delighted to welcome Jesse to the club and excited for him to lead us into this new chapter,” director of football Victor Orta said in a club statement. “Jesse is someone we identified a number of years ago during his time at Red Bull Salzburg and we believe his philosophy and style of football aligns with that of the club and will suit the players very well.

“We have a long-term plan and firmly believe he can take Leeds United to the next level and are excited for what the future hold."

4. Honorable Mentions

Christian Pulisic
Chelsea player Christian Pulisic featuring in the Carabao Cup final / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Christian Pulisic featured in Chelsea’s 11-10 penalty shootout loss to Liverpool on Sunday in the Carabao Cup.

Tim Ream played the full 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Cardiff City on Saturday.

George Bello came off the bench in Arminia Bielefeld’s 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Zack Steffen are all out with injuries.