Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Venezuela v Canada: Marsch wants to build ´something special´ ahead of 2026 World Cup

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Jul 2024

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Jesse Marsch believes Canada can mount “something special” as they aim to build towards the 2026 World Cup, starting with the Copa America.

Marsch’s team somewhat surprisingly made it through Group A behind Argentina, at the expense of Chile, who won back-to-back Copa America titles as recently as 2015 and 2016.

In their maiden Copa America, Canada will now go up against Group B winners Venezuela for a place in the last four.

And looking ahead to the next World Cup, which Canada will co-host along with the United States and Mexico, Marsch thinks the sky is the limit.

“I was thinking, ‘Why did I take this job with those three opponents [coming] up?'” Marsch joked in an interview with FOX Soccer NOW, with his team having played pre-tournament friendlies against the Netherlands and France.

“I knew when I took the job that 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.”

Canada have fared better than their 2026 World Cup co-hosts USA, who crashed out in the group stage.

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

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

“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.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Venezuela – Salomon Rondon

Rondon has scored two goals at this tournament for Venezuela.

Only three players can better Rondon’s 1.98 xG across the tournament so far, while the 34-year-old has had 13 shots, which matches the total of the tournament’s leading scorer Lautaro Martinez.

Canada – Jonathan David

Canada might have made it through, though they did only score one goal across their three Group A games. They are the fourth team to advance from the group stage in the Copa America despite scoring only one goal, following Mexico in 2001, Uruguay in 2007, and Colombia in 2015.

That came from Jonathan David, who is Canada’s key attacker, and if they are to reach the last four, he is likely to be crucial.

MATCH PREDICTION: VENEZUELA WIN

Marsch’s confidence is not shared by Opta’s model, which fancies Venezuela to win in Arlington.

Venezuela have lost only two of their last 10 matches played in the United States, including friendlies, winning six of those games (D2). Additionally, La Vinotinto kept a clean sheet on seven of those occasions (W5 D2), with Colombia, Italy, and Ecuador being the only teams to score against them.

One more goal will match Venezuela’s highest scoring tally in a single edition of the tournament, having scored seven goals in the 1967 and 2011 tournaments.

Venezuela are also unbeaten in their last four matches against teams from CONCACAF in this tournament (W3 D1).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Venezuela – 48.7%

Canada – 26.9%

Draw – 24.4%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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