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Marsch says he ‘feels home’ with Canada after being overlooked by U.S. Soccer Federation | CBC Sports

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Marsch says he ‘feels home’ with Canada after being overlooked by U.S. Soccer Federation | CBC Sports

Having led Canada to the semifinals of the Copa America, coach Jesse Marsch said he didn’t need success to prove his ability after he was fired by Leeds and overlooked by 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 bulls—t,” Marsch said during a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s match against Argentina.

He laughed as Monday’s news conference was being simultaneously translated.

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

Marsch took over Leeds in February 2022 from Marcelo Bielsa with the team two points above the relegation zone and led it to a 17th-place finish, three points above the drop. He was fired a year later with the team in 17th, above the relegation zone on goal difference, and Leeds finished 19th and went down to the second tier League Championship.

He interviewed with the USSF last year before Gregg Berhalter was rehired, and Canada gave the 50-year-old Marsch its national team job in May. While Canada advanced in its first Copa America appearance, the host U.S. was eliminated in 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 had not reached the World Cup since 1986 when it qualified for the 2022 tournament under coach John Herdman. It went 0-3 in Qatar. Herdman left in August to coach Toronto in Major League Soccer after saying the Canada Soccer Association did not provide the national team with the necessary financial support and resources.

A men's soccer coach speaks during a press conference.
Canada coach Jesse Marsch speaks during a press conference on Monday ahead of the team’s Copa America semifinal match against Argentina on Tuesday. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Marsch was hired after Peter Augruso replaced Charmaine Crooks as CSA president.

“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 per cent 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 first two games were a pair of friendlies in Europe, a 4-0 loss at the Netherlands and a 0-0 draw at France.

Canada opened the Copa America with a 2-0 loss to defending champion Argentina, beat Peru 1-0 for its first win over a South American team in 24 years and advanced to the knockout rounds with a 0-0 draw against Chile.

Canada won its quarterfinal against Venezuela 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie.

“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.”

A standout college player at Princeton, Marsch made two appearances for the U.S. and was an assistant to Bob Bradley with the national team in 2010-11.

He coached Montreal (2011-12) and the New York Red Bulls (2015-18) in Major League Soccer, then moved up to coaching sister teams, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria (2019-21) and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, which fired him in December 2021 midway through his first season.

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