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After the first 90 minutes of the 2022-23 English Premier League season, American manager Jesse Marsch has his Leeds United side tied atop the EPL table with three points. The big win for the top division of English football’s only American-born manager wasn’t without controversy, though. After the final whistle blew, Marsch got into a heated verbal altercation with Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Bruno Lage.

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch and Wolves manager Bruno Lage got into it after match

(L-R) Managers Jesse Marsch and Bruno Lage argue after match; Brenden Aaronson and Jack Harrison celebrate Leeds United goal.
(L-R) Jesse Marsch and Bruno Lage; Brenden Aaronson and Jack Harrison | Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Image; David Rogers/Getty Images.

Racine, Wisconsin native Jesse Marsch has managed the Montreal Imapct and D.C. United in MLS, RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga, RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga, and, in 2022, Leeds United hired him to replace Marco Bielsa and help the club avoid relegation.

Marsch accomplished his task and kept Leeds in the Premier League with a dramatic final-day win vs. Brentford. In the 2022 offseason, Marsch and Leeds made several high-profile moves to, hopefully, not just avoid relegation in 2022-23 but make some noise in the EPL.

Two of these moves included bringing in American stars and USMNT players Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams.

These U.S.-centric moves paid off immediately for Marsch and Leeds. Both players started the side’s opening match vs. Wolves, and Aaronson forced the game-winning own goal by Wolves defender Rayan Aït-Nouri.

Despite the successful day on the pitch, Marsch found himself at the center of controversy after the match.

After the match ended, TV cameras caught Marsch and Portuguese Wolves’ boss Bruno Lage in a heated, finger-wagging confrontation.

In a postgame interview, Lage cryptically alluded to Marsch’s words and behavior during the match (and a lack of an apology for those words and behavior after) as the source of the conflict.

“In these days, we cannot say some things — and I heard that in the first half. Until the first half, end of the game, we have a lot of time to shake hands, apologize. It didn’t happen,” Lage told reporters.

For his part, Marsch explained, “It was nothing. I just had a quick word with Bruno Lage afterwards.”

Both managers downplayed the incident and praised the other in the end. However, in professional sports, nothing usually stays hidden for long. Marsch’s words and actions will likely come out, and this story will have more legs in the coming days.

Marsch might be playing the Ugly American now in the 2022-23 EPL season, but if he keeps winning like this, no one on Leeds will care.

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