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    Tuesday, July 9, 2024

    Canadian National Team’s Performance Doesn’t Reflect My Overall Coaching Abilities, Jesse Marsch Clarified


    Jesse Marsch stated that his success with the Canadian national team was not a prerequisite for demonstrating his coaching capabilities.

    In reference to his recent achievements in leading the Canadian national team to the Copa America semi-finals, coach Jesse Marsch expressed his confidence in his abilities despite not achieving immediate success or recognition from previous employers such as Leeds United and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

    “I felt how strongly they wanted me here, and I’m at a point in my life where I don’t need all the other bull----,” Marsch said during a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s match against Argentina.

    He chuckled during the simultaneous translation of the press conference on Monday.

    “I don’t know how you say that in Spanish, OK?” he explained with a grin.

    Marsch assumed the leadership of Leeds United Football Club in February 2022, succeeding Mr. Marcelo Bielsa. At the time of his appointment, the team was in a precarious position, hovering just two points above the relegation zone. Under Mr. Marsch’s guidance, the team managed to secure a 17th-place finish, narrowly avoiding relegation by a margin of three points. Regrettably, his tenure came to an end a year later, with the team once again finding themselves in 17th place, this time separated from the relegation zone by goal difference alone. Ultimately, Leeds United suffered relegation to the second-tier League Championship, finishing in 19th position.

    Marsch interviewed with the United States Soccer Federation last year prior to the rehiring of Gregg Berhalter. Subsequently, in May, Canada appointed the 50-year-old to the position of national team coach. While Canada progressed in its inaugural participation in the Copa America, the host nation, the United States, was unfortunately eliminated during the group stage.

    “I never doubted my ability as a coach,” Marsh said. “What I’ve always doubted in this business is how do you find the right people to work with? And so the best thing about where I’m at right now is it feels home to me. It feels like I’m working with a group of players that I think value the things that I bring. I value the things that they’re about.”

    Canada’s national soccer team, under the leadership of coach John Herdman, successfully qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, marking their first appearance in the tournament since 1986. However, the team faced challenges during the competition, resulting in a 0-3 record. Subsequently, in August, coach Herdman made the decision to depart from his role with the national team to join Toronto FC in Major League Soccer. This decision was influenced by concerns regarding the level of financial support and resource allocation provided by the Canada Soccer Association, which were deemed insufficient for the team’s optimal performance.

    Following the succession of Peter Augruso as the president of CSA after Charmaine Crooks, Marsch was subsequently employed.

    “I think the Canadian Soccer Association is a humble but professional organization and that the new leadership is fantastic,” Marsch said. “The people in the country have been 100% behind us in what we’re doing with this team and you could take out the victories and the successes that we’ve had at this tournament. From day one, I’ve felt that. It’s the reason I came. It’s because I felt how strongly they wanted me here.”

    Marsch’s inaugural two matches were a pair of exhibition games held in Europe, resulting in a 4-0 defeat in the Netherlands and a scoreless draw in France.

    During the Copa America tournament, Canada faced Argentina, the reigning champion, in their opening match, resulting in a 2-0 defeat. Subsequently, they achieved a significant milestone by securing their first victory against a South American team in 24 years, defeating Peru with a score of 1-0. Canada further solidified their position by advancing to the knockout rounds after a 0-0 draw against Chile.

    In the quarterfinal match between Canada and Venezuela, the game resulted in a 1-1 tie, leading to a penalty shootout. Canada emerged victorious with a 4-3 win in the penalty kicks.

    “I want to do things I want to do,” Marsch said. “I want to get back to loving the game that I love, and this team has helped me finding that, and I’m very thankful for that.”

    Marsch, a distinguished college athlete from Princeton, represented the United States on two occasions and served as an assistant to Mr. Bob Bradley for the national team during the 2010-2011 season.

    He served as a coach for Montreal (2011-2012) and the New York Red Bulls (2015-2018) in Major League Soccer. Subsequently, he advanced to coaching affiliated teams, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria (2019-2021) and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, where his tenure was terminated in December 2021 during his inaugural season.

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