With promises of major changes this offseason the New York Red Bulls announced its new head coach on Thursday morning. Sandro Schwarz will be the 20th head coach in team history going into the 2024 season.
In the announcement, Red Bulls Head of Sport Jochen Schneider spoke highly of the former player.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sandro [Schwarz] to the club,” said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. “Sandro is a great leader that fits our culture and his head coaching experience in Europe fits with what we are trying to accomplish. We are excited to get him here and begin to work towards success in 2024.”
Welcome to New York, Sandro 🙌
The New York Red Bulls have named Sandro Schwarz as our new head coach!
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) December 14, 2023
A native of Germany, Schwarz spent over a decade playing in both professional and semi-professional leagues across his home country. His final season as a player in 2008–09 allowed him to slide into a coaching role with his team, SV Wehen Wiesbaden.
Since then Schwarz has managed five teams in Europe, four being in Germany and one in Russia. He won under 32% of his games with three of them.
The only teams he saw any type of success with were 1. FC Eschborn (Germany) and FC Dynamo Moscow (Russia). The former played deep in the regional leagues of Germany and Schwarz accumulated a record of 34 wins, 15 draws, and 21 loses. This was also his first head coaching position. The role in Moscow was his best performance with 31 wins, nine draws, and 18 loses. However it should be noted that his tenure was between October 2020 and May 2022. That means the sanctions on Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine definitely played a role in league performance.
His last role prior to RBNY was with Hertha BSC for 2022–23. He didn’t last the year and the German side finished last in the Bundesliga, eventually being relegated to the second division.
Overall Schwarz has worked with relegation-threatened teams with limited budgets. While at these teams he hasn’t been able to extract the most out of them. Typically they either continue to fall or yo-yo between divisions. The sole exception to that being in Russia isn’t a huge resume booster.
The choice to move to Major League Soccer, a budget-restricted league where he’d need to get the most out of his players, is a strange choice.
Still this is just one part in Jochen Schneider’s plan to move forward. An offseason of major changes has already begun with roster moves beginning this week. The head of sport noted he still wants the soccer being played on the field to be “red bull” soccer. Hiring someone from Europe, specifically Germany, is a Red Bull move.