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American Jesse Marsch named Canadian men’s soccer coach through 2026 World Cup | CBC Sports

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American Jesse Marsch, whose coaching resume include stints in England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Major League Soccer, has been named coach of the Canadian men’s soccer team.

Canada Soccer said Marsch, the former coach of Leeds United, RB Leipzig, Red Bull Salzburg, New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact, takes over immediately with a contract that runs through July 2026 — when Canada will jointly host the World Cup with Mexico and the United States.

Marsch, who becomes the 20th Canadian men’s head coach, has a 170-66-103 managerial record, according to Canada Soccer.

“Jesse is a transformational leader who will drive progress for our men’s national team — and for Canadian soccer more broadly — as we enter the most important time in the domestic history of our sport,” Kevin Blue, Canada’s soccer’s chief executive officer and general secretary, said in a statement.

“He’s been a successful manager at the highest levels of global football, helped advance a CONCACAF nation out of the group stage at the FIFA World Cup, and is an experienced builder who will make a significant impact on the landscape of our sport.”

The Canadian men have been without a permanent coach since John Herdman stepped down last August to take over Toronto FC.

Assistant coach Mauro Biello has been serving as interim coach since then. The former Canadian international was a candidate for the permanent job.

Canada Soccer said Marsch’s hiring was “assisted by major philanthropic contributions” from the owners of the three Canadian-based MLS clubs — Vancouver Whitecaps, CF Montreal (Joey Saputo) and Toronto FC (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) — and supplemented by other private donors.

“In recognition of their significant philanthropic support, Marsch’s position will be formally titled as the MLS Canada Men’s National Team Head Coach during the term of his initial contract,” Canada Soccer said. “This type of donor recognition is common at universities and hospitals, in NCAA sports, and is starting to be used in the Canadian sport system — for example, with the Stollery Family Women’s National Team Head Coach support at Golf Canada.”

Blue’s resume included stints as athletic director at the University of California, Davis, and senior associate director of athletics at Stanford University.

A former U.S. international midfielder, Marsch played 14 seasons with D.C. United, the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA from 1996 to 2009.

International, club experience

He’s served as an assistant coach under Bob Bradley’s staff on the U.S. team that reached the round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

He coached the Montreal Impact, now CF Montreal, to a 12-16-6 record in 2012 season but left by mutual agreement after the expansion club’s inaugural season.

He took over New York Red Bulls in 2015 and was named coach of the year after leading the club to the MLS Supporters’ Shield.

In 2018, he moved elsewhere in the Red Bull soccer family, joining RB Leipzig in Germany’s Bundesliga as assistant manager to Ralph Rangnick. After the 2018-19 season, he became manager of FC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga, leading the club to a league and cup double in both of his seasons in charge.

Marsch rejoined RB Leipzig in 2021, this time as manager. He led the club at the end of the year and took over England’s Leeds United in February 2022.

He was fired by Leeds in February 2023 with the club just above the relegation zone.

Finding Herdman’s successor

The search for a permanent replacement to Herdman has taken time.

Canada Soccer looked to hire a general secretary first, then a men’s coach. But the timeline was delayed when former MLSE executive Allyson Walker was hired but never took up the general secretary job in January, citing undisclosed personal reasons.

The search resumed after Blue was appointed in late February.

It’s a big summer for the 49th-ranked Canadian men.

Taking part in Copa America as one of six CONCACAF guest teams, Canada has been drawn in a pool with No. 1 Argentina, No. 32 and No. 42 Chile.

Canada has scheduled high-profile friendlies with the ninth-ranked Netherlands and No. 2 France ahead of the tournament, which runs June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

The Canadian men have gone 2-2-0 under Biello.

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