'Massive responsibility' - Ex-Leeds United manager handed reigns at 2026 World Cup hosts

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The former Leeds United boss was sacked by the Whites last year ahead of the club’s relegation

Former Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has been appointed head coach at 2026 World Cup hosts Canada.

The American has been out of management since being sacked by Leeds in February 2023. He held talks with Leicester City and Southampton following his Elland Road exit but declined roles at both clubs while he has been linked with a handful of international jobs - including South Korea and his home nation of the United States.

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Marsch will take over the reigns at Canada immediately as he replaces interim coach Mauro Biello, who had been in charge since October 2023 after John Herdman resigned to become Toronto FC manager.

"The combination of the new leadership inside of Canada Soccer coupled with the potential of this dynamic player pool has inspired me," said Marsch. "I am ready and eager to take on this massive responsibility. My excitement and anticipation to get started are immense.

“It is an absolute honour to represent and lead the Canadian men’s national team in our preparation for a home World Cup. One of my main goals will be to help unite the soccer community in Canada to support our efforts to be successful on and off the pitch. All in for 2026."

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Before the World Cup in two years, Marsch’s first big task with Canada will be the Copa America this summer. Canada open the tournament against Argentina on June 20 and will also contest group games against Chile and Peru, with the competition culminating in the final on July 14.

Marsch will not be the only former Leeds boss in charge of a team at Copa America with Marcelo Bielsa managing Uruguay, who are in a group with the United States, Panama and Bolivia.

Bielsa and Marsch left very different legacies at Elland Road, with the American named as Bielsa’s replacement after his sacking in 2022. Marsch had a win percentage of 29.73 from his 37 games in charge of Leeds. He helped keep Leeds up in the 2021-22 season with a final day win over Brentford sealing the club’s place in the top flight. However, he was unable to build on that as Leeds stuttered through the 2022-23 campaign before he was sacked.

Speaking on his exit in March last year, he said: “I’ve taken some time out for myself over the last couple of months and it’s been a good chance to reflect on aspects of life while in Leeds. I’m very proud of our achievements like staying up in 21/22 and when I look back on my time at Leeds, I’ll think of that with great pride.

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“I’m also grateful to have worked with a great group of players and staff and to have met some fantastic people in Yorkshire. I’m taking some time to consider the right next step but until then, I’ll be enjoying time with family & friends.”

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