New York Red Bulls hire ex-Hertha Berlin boss Sandro Schwarz

Sandro Schwarz was hired by the New York Red Bulls on Thursday as their 20th coach in 29 seasons, eight months after he was fired by relegation-bound Hertha Berlin.

The 45-year-old Schwarz replaced Troy Lesesne, who took over the Red Bulls from Gerhard Struber on May 8 and was fired at the end of the season.

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The Red Bulls made the playoffs by finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference with 11 wins, 10 draws and 13 losses and beat Charlotte FC in the wild-card round before losing to FC Cincinnati in round one

"We are very pleased to welcome Sandro to the club," said Red Bulls 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."

Schwarz was a midfielder for his hometown Mainz (1998-2004), Rot-Weiss Essen (2004-05) and Wehen Wiesbaden (2005-09). He coached Wehen Wiesbaden (2009-10), Eschborn (2011-13) and Mainz II (2015-17) before taking over at Mainz in the Bundesliga from 2017-19.

Mainz finished 14th and 12th in his two full seasons, and he was fired in November 2019, a week after an 8-0 loss to Leipzig. He coached Dynamo Moscow from October 2020 through the 2022 Russian Cup final, then was hired by Hertha in June 2022.

He was fired in April after a 5-2 loss to Schalke dropped Hertha into last place with five wins, 18 losses and five draws.

"I look forward to joining the club and getting started soon," Schwarz said. "I have a lot of motivation to accomplish many great things with this club and I am excited to get to work for the upcoming season."

The Red Bulls, who began play in 1996 as the New York/New Jersey Metrostars, have never won an MLS Cup.

They have been coached by Eddie Firmani (1996), Carlos Queiroz (1996), Carlos Alberto Parreira (1997), Alfonso Mondelo (1998), Bora Milutinovic (1998-99), Octavio Zambrano (2000-02), Bob Bradley (2003-05), Mo Johnston (2005-2006), Richie Williams (2006), Bruce Arena (2006-07), Juan Carlos Osorio (2008-09), Williams (2009), Hans Backe (2010-12), Mike Petke (2013-15), Jesse Marsch (2015-18), Chris Armas (2018-20), Bradley Carnell (2020), Struber (2020-22) and Lesesne (2023).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.