After an exhaustive search lasting over half a year, Canada Soccer finally announced they found their candidate to take over the head coaching duties of the Men’s National Team.

Welcome, Jesse Marsch.

The former American international player comes to the job with an extensive resume, most recently with Leeds United when they were in the English Premier League.

His contract with Canada Soccer runs until the end of July 2026.

Canada Soccer CEO and General Secretary Kevin Blue said in a press release that the search was “extensive” and “rigorous.”

“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,” Blue said. “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.”

Former head coach John Herdman stepped away from the role in August 2023 to take over the job at Toronto FC. He had coached the Canadian men’s team for five years and the women’s team before that for seven years.

A long and bumpy path

Marsch had 14 seasons as a midfielder in MLS between 1996 and 2009. His playing career included three MLS Cups (in each of his first three years of playing), two with D.C. United and one with Chicago Fire. He also won a Supporters’ Shield with the Fire in 2003.

Only capped twice by the U.S. Men’s National Team, he began his coaching career with the program as an assistant. But the head job with the new expansion franchise Montreal Impact was quick to call, and he took his first foray into head coaching to start the 2012 season.

The Montreal job lasted just over a year as both club and coach parted ways with rumours of a disagreement in philosophies between himself and team president, Joey Saputo.

Marsch found better success with the New York Red Bulls. He took the job in January 2015, and over the course of three years, posted a record of 76W-30D-45L. 

It was good enough for the Red Bulls organization to move their manager to Europe and take over their club in Salzburg for the 2019­–2020 season.

With RB Salzburg, Marsch started to fill his managerial trophy cabinet. In his first year, he managed the team to the Austrian Bundesliga title as well as winning the Austrian Cup.

Marsch did the domestic double again in the 2020–2021 season, his last with the club before moving to arguably the biggest job in the Red Bulls football organization, German Bundesliga club, RB Leipzig.

But it did not go to plan. Marsch lasted half a season with a record of 7W-4D-6L. The manager and club agreed to part ways, ending Marsch’s time with the Red Bulls.

In February 2022, Marsch took over Leeds United and helped the club survive relegation in that season. However, he was fired just before his first anniversary with the club sitting one sport above the relegation line.

Marsch’s first match behind the Canadian Men’s bench will be a friendly against the Netherlands on June 6. The team will also play France three days later on June 9.

Both matches are in preparation for Canada’s involvement in the Copa América, which will take place this summer.