Jesse Marsch will lead the Canada men’s national team at this summer’s 2024 Copa America after being hired Monday night. The American coach previously made a name for himself at European clubs such as RB Leipzig and Leeds United. However, he has been without a managerial job since departing the English side over a year ago. While away from the pitch, the coach had been providing occasional Champions League analysis for CBS Sports.

The move will not be Marsch’s first time coaching in Canada. The Wisconsin native was previously named as the first manager of Major League Soccer side Montreal back in 2011. Marsch, however, only lasted one season north of the border. The coach’s departure was not exactly because of his failures in the team’s expansion season. Instead, the split occurred due to differences between Marsch and the club’s upper management.

Canada MLS clubs are directly paying Jesse Marsch salary

While grabbing Marsch is certainly a coup for Canada, there are some surprising . For starters, the coach’s official title in the role is MLS Canada Men’s National Team Head Coach. This is due to philanthropic contributions from the three Canadian MLS clubs. Executives from Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are all mostly paying Marsch’s salary to manage Canada.

The involvement of the MLS clubs in the national team position raises several potential concerns. There are worries that these clubs may have a little too much control over Marsch’s team. For instance, because they are essentially paying the coach’s salary, the trio may very well apply pressure on Marsch to select more players from their teams.

Canada’s latest 23-man roster contained four total players from Canadian MLS sides. All four of these players happened to play for Montreal. This particular roster was chosen for the 2024 Copa America playoff game against Trinidad and Tobago in March. Four other Canadian MLS players have also featured for their national team within the last 12 months.

MLS teams may now essentially control the Canadian national team

Not only could these MLS clubs gain more control over the national team’s roster, but there are fears that the Canada Soccer Association may now become submissive to MLS. As Marsch’s salary is being mostly paid by the three clubs, they could seemingly control major decisions in the national team. This could even include the coach’s future with Canada.

Budgets for the three MLS clubs in Canada could also be affected by their involvement with the national team and Jesse Marsch. It remains unclear if supplying money to Marsch’s contract will hinder the trio’s ability to spend on their rosters. This particular issue would surely not go down well with Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver fans.

Changing the official job title of Canada’s manager to include the MLS is a stunning and odd decision. Nevertheless, it seems as if the association was willing to do whatever it took to secure Marsch’s signature. The American had links to a plethora of clubs and national teams in recent months.

Marsch will now truly get a baptism of fire in his new role. Canada is playing European heavyweights France and the Netherlands in final preparations for the 2024 Copa America. Marsch will then have to face reigning World Cup winners Argentina in their opening game of the tournament.



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