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Jesse Marsch named Canada men’s national team head coach

The Canadian men’s national team has called on one of the modern-day American head coaches.

Jesse Marsch has been named the new head coach of Canada, the federation announced Monday. Marsch will begin his role immediately with Canada set for summer involvement at the 2024 Copa America this June.

The 50-year-old last served as manager of English Premier League side Leeds United from February 2022-23 He helped Leeds United avoid relegation during the second half of the 2021-22 campaign but eventually was fired in Feb. 2023.

“After extensive consultation with expert stakeholders and a rigorous search process, I am delighted to make today’s announcement, Canada Soccer CEO & General Secretary Kevin Blue said. “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.

“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. I’m excited to welcome him back to Canada.” ​

Marsch was previously a reported finalist for the managerial vacancy with the South Korea men’s national team. He also reportedly interviewed with U.S. Soccer for the men’s national team opening before the federation re-hired Gregg Berhalter last year.

A former MLS player, Marsch also served as manager of the New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig before his move to England in 2022. He’s lifted six trophies during his time as a head coach including winning a pair of domestic doubles in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg.

Canada is set to face both the Netherlands and France in a pair of pre-Copa America friendlies before taking on Argentina, Peru, and Chile in group stage play at the tournament.


  1. I’ve always rooted for Jesse, but was distressed at some of his decision making, inflexibility with Leeds and have been taken aback by many of his takes as a pundit, especially those about our player pool. I sincerely hope he does well at Canada… other than vs the USA of course. Have to admit to being relieved that we are off the hook bringing him in should things go completely pear shaped.

  2. If the Canucks exceed expectations the Copa and look like they did last wcq cycle… And us Yanks poopie the bed under Mr. B…
    Does the fanbase start fuming for a trade??
    (I already know the result, just throwing it out there for sh!ts and giggles)

  3. in the ever evolving tactical world of soccer, Jesse needs to evolve too imho, otherwise too predictable, like Herdman was.

    we’ll see. I’m definitely rooting against him now, never have before

    • I seem to recall that the Canadian team came in first in WC qualifying last time., while Herdman was their coach. The Canadian women’s team did very well while Herdman was coach. As for Jesse Marsch, he saved Leeds from relegation his first year, then while they were struggling the next season, Leeds did a little worse under Marsch’s successors. While Marsch was at Salzburg they not only won their league every year, I think at least twice he got them into the knock-out round of the Champions League. Have they done as well since? I don’t think so. How many arm chair coaches could match what these coaches have done? Even a very good coach can do only so much based on the personnel he or she has to work with.

      • Gary, 100% Jesse could out coach any commentator here. Who chose the players at Leeds? Jesse spent around 125 million euros in his half season in 22/23. Even if you give him pass (eventhough Kristensen, Wober, Adams and Aaronson were former players)because of squad talent, he had to see the backline of Struijk, Koch, Llorente, and Ayling was problematic while trying to play a high line. Yet he never wavered in his commitment to his system. Jesse is qualified for this job, he will have success against teams with equal or lesser talent. Will he be able to show flexibility that he didn’t show in previous stops and get them to beat better teams?
        RBL 20-21 season 2nd place before Marsch.
        RBL with Jesse 11th place finished 4th after he’s fired, 3rd the following year.
        He was also 0-1-3 in CL that year giving up 13g in 4 matches.
        Your RBS memory is false. RBS won the Austrian league the nine years before he arrived and the two years following his departure. Jesse never got them out of Champions League Group stage or past the Europa League Rnd of 32. Jaissle got them to the knockout round in 21-22, the same year Jesse got 1pt with RBL.
        Leeds was in 17th when he took over and finished 21/22 in 17th so yes he kept them out of relegation by keeping them in the same position.
        For what it’s worth Bev Priestman has a better winning percentage than Herdman and won gold with Canada’s women’s team. Perhaps she should have been considered.

      • Johnnyrazor – two minor points. 1. Leeds were rumored to be interested in Aaronson while Bielsa was there. They didn’t sign him until Marsch was the coach, but it’s not 100% accurate to say he was a Marsch signing.

        2. When Leeds fired Marsch, the team was just above the relegation zone. They did slightly worse under whoever succeeded him, and were relegated. I’m not really defending the job that Marsch did at Leeds, but Leeds’ problems were entirely the coaching. The reality is that losing Adams for the last couple of. months of that season hurt a lot.

      • Johnny99: not blaming Leeds completely on Marsch either. I do think they would have stayed up if Adams hadn’t gotten hurt no matter who was managing. That Leeds was interested in Aaronson under Bielsa and signed him under Marsch is a further strike on Jesse. He knew Brendan’s level and still overpaid for him.

  4. Jesse impressed no one at Leipzig.
    Even more people found him unimpressive at Leeds. For all his fire, he was curiously passive and feckless at Leeds.
    This could be strike three.
    He needs Canada to appear to be a great success; at this point Jesse is verging on being all foam, no beer.

    Canada has what Jesse seems to need:

    • A management entity that seems to have bought into his schtick.
    • Manageable expectations and ready made excuses;
    o A talent pool good enough to make some headway if things go well
    o But, if they do badly, he can point to a talent deficit and outsize
    • High profile showcase; None better than the World Cup and Copa America
    and he didn’t even have to qualify for them.
    • A media that is probably a little less vicious than what he had to deal with
    in the UK.

    • and yet somehow several teams wanted him as their manager, as well as the South Korean NT once they got that incompetent buffoon Klinsmann out of there! Jesse has turned down several jobs from what I’ve heard, and was waiting for the perfect job to open up so I don’t think you’re characterization of him is what you think it is globally. England doesn’t count, they don’t like any AMERICANS

      • Ronnie,

        “yet somehow several teams wanted him as their manager, ”

        Sez who? Jesse? You believe him? Have you spoken to the people from Leicester City, Southampton, or Celtic and heard what they had to say about their so called interest in Jesse? It’s pretty hard for outsiders like you and me to gauge the seriousness of whatever rumoured negotiations supposedly went on between Jesse and those teams.

        By the way, Celtic is in Scotland not England. Most Scottish people I know dislike intensely being lumped in with the English.

        When a Manchester United announces that they are in serious talks with BJ Callaghan ( for example) to replace ETH, then I’ll believe that that team wants him.

        Everything else is just a rumor.

        “England doesn’t count, they don’t like any AMERICANS”


        They don’t like Americans that are instrumental in getting them relegated or who they see as incompetent. They look for the result first. If it isn’t what they want then they go all racist, all hater on you, guns blazing.

        Clint is an Texan and he’s very popular in England as was McBride even though he’s from Illinois. Tim Howard and Landon , noted Americans, are still very popular with Toffee fans.

  5. Apparently the three Canadian MLS owners are paying his salary. If you think MLS had its hands in roster decisions the last 15-20 years imagine the MLS were actually paying you each month.

  6. USA v. Canada is going to have a little extra spice going forward. Should be fun. Canada’s got some talent. Herdman gets a lot of praise for his work there, but I thought they underperformed in the World Cup. Let’s see if Jesse can get them to the second round in 2026.

    • I expected Canada to not do well at the WC. If you look at the WC holistically, a team that goes to the WC for the first time in a long time with players that mostly have not played at such a high level before, are often overwhelmed by the experience and the environment. For Canada to get to the second round will depend mostly on the draw and how well they prepare with friendlies. Mexico did not make the second round in the last go-round and they had a very experienced squad and coach.

  7. It will be interesting to see if Jesse has different tactics. His high press and fast break hit and hope style worked in MLS and Austria but was found out quickly in Germany and England. He’s talked a good game about having different tactics for different situations especially when criticizing Berhalter but has failed to show that tactical awareness when he himself was on the touchline. He’s a rah rah guy like Herdman which either the Canadians will feel comfortable with or already be over on day 1. Let’s hope they actually pay him given their financial troubles.

    • He’ll have to because there won’t be enough time with that group to install it fully, so I’m guessing itll be a hybrid version of it. Canada could be really effective with that style of play, as they are an athletic and technical group who are probably lying better suited to use those skillsets to play pressing, counter attacking soccer

      • That backline will be on an island, could look a lot like Leeds. Those guys having to play high and chasing guys in space could be interesting.

      • @Johnnyrazor Leeds problem was a lack of talent, especially in the back, they had a Championship roster trying to stay in the Prem and didn’t get sufficient help in enough areas to stay up imo

      • Johnny-

        I had that thought too. If you’re going to play a high-press game you’d better be awesome – and athletic – at the back, and Canada isn’t. Herdman knew what he had and what he didn’t, and set them up mostly in a 3-4-3 and used their extreme speed on the flanks to hit on the counter.

        They have neither the depth nor the defenders to high-press unless it’s against maybe Guam. I’m not as down on Jesse Marsch as a lot of folks seem to be, but I do wonder if he or his system are a fit for their personnel.

      • Yes Ronnie and Canada’s biggest talent need is in the back. Waterman, Kamal Miller, McGraw, and Bombito are all average MLS guys. Johnson is solid as a CB or RB but not blazing with speed. I don’t think he uses Davies as a LB he’s their best attacker so he most likely plays as a LW. Kennedy is not fleet of foot and plays in Austria.
        Jesse will play his 4-3-3
        He could play Davies at LB but then you can pin him especially if Can. aren’t trying to hold possession or you can trap him high up the field running your RW at Miller who has to track over. That backline is going to struggle because like Leeds it’s not as good as it’s competition (outside Concacaf).

    • I think this is actually a good hire!

      With the talent pool (speed/strength/technical) and style (quick counter) that Canada plays this could be a really great addition of their development. I don’t think they will strictly play kickball, but possession game will not be high on their list; especially in tournament format … playing counterattack football with clear outlets and service/delivery options into the box … this could make for opportunities to feast for Kyle and David.

      If they have decent-ish finishing after pressing, cutting out passes and countering they could get 1 win and 2 draws and get out of their group. Get out of the group stage, that’s clearly gotta be the actual goal for the next World Cup.

      • I think it’s probably as good as they were going to get. The other serious candidate was Stefan Kuntz, a German who had managed Turkey to mixed results. For the last 5 years Canada has had the attacking players and a solid midfield but the backline has been pieced together with MLSers and lower Euro players. That will continue to be an issue if they are playing high press and leaving those guys on their own. I think the biggest positive is Canada has worked around their terrible marketing deal that has left them on the edges of bankruptcy and just started taking money from philanthropists (MLS owners) to fund their program.

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