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HomeSportsNo easing into job for Canada's new national team coach

No easing into job for Canada’s new national team coach

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With upcoming matches against the Netherlands, France, and World Cup champions Argentina for Jesse Marsch, there will be no easing into his new post as head coach of Canada’s men’s national team.

On the job in just two weeks, Marsch will receive a baptism by fire with away friendlies against the seventh-ranked Netherlands on June 6, followed by number two France three days later, with Lionel Messi and top-ranked Argentina waiting to take on Canada in their Copa America opener on June 20 in Atlanta.

“If I have a preseason with a club team, we would schedule a first game or two against an opponent where it was a little bit easier, where we could have success,” conceded Marsch after announcing his 26-man roster for the June training camp and friendlies. “What a massive challenge!

“Even when looking at all the different challenges in my career, trying to get these little 10 days right will be difficult.

“I want to give them enough information for them to understand how we’re going to move forward, but I don’t want to overwhelm them by saying that when they step on the pitch, they’ve got a million things on their mind.”

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One of the main things Marsch said he hopes to do is establish a team identity, but his first selection had a familiar look, with 20 of the 26 names having suited up for Canada’s last contest under interim coach Mauro Biello.

The squad will once again be led by Bayern Munich left back Alphonso Davies, Lille’s Jonathan David, and Tajon Buchanan from Inter Milan.

For Marsch, it has been a hectic start to his tenure, spending the first weeks having conversations with players and Canada Soccer leaders while filling out a coaching staff that will be confirmed on Wednesday before coming together on June 3 for a training camp in Rotterdam.

“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of discussion, but all really good and helpful for me to have a good assessment as to where we are and where we need to go,” said Marsch.

“What will be really important here is to develop an identity within the team and engage multiple people that we feel can ultimately be beneficial to what we’ll try to achieve with the national team now, in a month from now, six months from now, and certainly two years from now.”

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