Saturday, July 13, 2024

Marsch aiming to create something special with Canada

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2024

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Jesse Marsch believes Canada can build something special as they prepare for their Copa America quarter-final against Venezuela.

Canada are playing in their maiden Copa America and finished second in Group A behind defending champions Argentina after a win over Peru and a draw with Chile following their opening-day defeat to Albiceleste.

They now know that beating the Group B winners will set them up for a rematch against Argentina in the semi-finals if they win on Friday.

Marsch says he knew it was going to be tough when he took the job earlier this year, but has praised the “positive” support that has spurred the team forward.

“I was thinking, ‘Why did I take this job with those three opponents [coming] up?'” Marsch said. “I knew when I took the job that the schedule was going to be very difficult, and by the way – put Peru and Chile in there as well – the first five opponents I knew were going to be very difficult.

“But I thought that it would give us a chance to create really high standards for how we wanted to play and that these games would show the players that we need to uphold ourselves to very high standards. I felt that if we could execute, then we could have some success.

“There’s real excitement in Canada about the team and the way we’ve played. That comes with, I think, a real hunger to keep this thing moving forward.”

“I’ll tell you: I’m glad I’m here, man. Because the people that I work with and the players that I work with, the things that we know that we can achieve together, the support that we have from inside the country, the support system for this entire national team is so positive.

“So, I think it gives us a real chance to develop something and build something and be ready for a big tournament come 2026.”

Canada have done better than their 2026 World Cup co-hosts USA, who crashed out in the group stage after winning just one match in Group C.

Asked about his home country’s performance at the tournament, Marsch admitted he was disappointed by what he saw.

“I’d like to say that I’m only focused on what we’re doing here in Canada, but obviously, I’m paying attention to the U.S. men’s national team as I always do, and like you, I’m sad,” he added.

“I’m disappointed with the performances, the lack of discipline. There are a lot of things that I think we’ve tried to embody about the game in the U.S., and we’ve always believed in this group of players.”

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