Despite a relatively successful first season in Major League Soccer, the Montreal Impact announced on Saturday that Jesse Marsch would be stepping down as head coach.
"This is an amicable parting of ways, for the better of the club," Impact president Joey Saputo told reporters at a press conference in Montreal. "I wish to thank him for his commitment and dedication with the club."
Marsch reiterated his former boss' statement, saying that the decision to leave the club was his own and that there were no hard feelings between himself and Impact upper management.
"I'm extremely proud to have been a part of this club," Marsch said "I will always be grateful to Joey and [Impact sporting director] Nick [De Santis] for giving me this opportunity."
Marsch was hired as Montreal's first ever MLS head coach midway through 2011, and in the Impact's expansion season he led the club to a 12-16-6 (W-L-T) record. Montreal's 42 points was good enough for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Little was said as to what specifically led to the parting of ways between Marsch and the Impact, but the coach did hint at a difference of opinion pertaining to the future direction of the club as the main reason behind the move.
"Although we have the same goals, we did not share the same philosophy," Marsch said. When asked to elaborate, Saputo would only say that the club's record was not the catalyst behind the decision.
"Long term was it going to work? Were we going to be happy? Was Jesse going to be happy? Was the club going to suffer?" Saputo asked. "The decision wasn't based on whether we were in the playoffs or not."
Montreal will travel to Italy next week for a postseason training camp. With Marsch no longer in the picture, assistant coaches Mike Sorber, Denis Hamlett and Mauro Biello, along with academy director Philippe Eullaffroy, will take over the reigns of the club on an interim basis.