Soccer-No easing into job for Canada's new national team coach

FILE PHOTO: Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch at The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain - February 5, 2023 Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - 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 has head coach of Canada's men's national team.

On the job just two weeks, Marsch will receive a baptism by fire with away friendlies against 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 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 this 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 that when they step on the pitch, they've got a million things in their mind."

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 like can ultimately be a benefit 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."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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