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CanMNT hires Jesse Marsch as new head coach

James Gill - Danehouse / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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Canada's men's soccer team hired former U.S. international Jesse Marsch as its next head coach Monday.

Marsch, who previously managed Leeds United, RB Leipzig, Red Bull Salzburg, and the New York Red Bulls, will kick off his tenure with friendlies against the Netherlands and France on June 6 and 9 before leading Canada at the Copa America.

"This team is going to be something that the entire Canadian community is going to be so excited about and ready to support. We're going to play with power and inspiration," Marsch said in Canada Soccer's announcement video.

Canada Soccer said private donors and the owners of Canada's three Major League Soccer teams - CF Montreal, Toronto FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps - made "major philanthropic contributions" to help it hire Marsch.

Canada's men's and women's programs have suffered financially since trading the right to future sponsorship revenue to independent holding company Canadian Soccer Business in 2018 for annual payments between $3 million and $4 million. The controversial deal, struck at a low point for the men's and women's programs, has limited the financial gain realized by Canada Soccer as the teams have improved.

Marsch, 50, has been out of work since being fired by Leeds in February 2023. He subsequently moved to Italy, where his wife recently received citizenship. Marsch also worked there as a correspondent for CBS Sports.

His most successful spell as a manager came in Salzburg, where he oversaw the early development of Erling Haaland and gained experience in the Champions League. He won the Austrian Bundesliga in 2020 and clinched a domestic double in 2021.

A former midfielder who played in Major League Soccer with D.C. United, the Chicago Fire, and the now-defunct Chivas USA, Marsch made two appearances for the U.S. national team before retiring in 2010.

He lasted just over a year in his first managerial gig with the Montreal Impact. Marsch later led the New York Red Bulls to the Supporters' Shield - handed to the MLS team with the best regular-season record - in 2015 and 2018.

Canada Soccer had been looking for a permanent replacement for John Herdman since he stepped down as head coach in August. Herdman's former assistant, Mauro Biello, took over on an interim basis. Biello helped Canada qualify for the Copa America with a win over Trinidad and Tobago in March.

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were reportedly contacted to fill the role.

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