Canadian men’s soccer team set to face No. 2 France in friendly

Canada’s national soccer team, under new coach Jesse Marsch, faces another tough challenge on Sunday against second-ranked France. The Canadian team, ranked 49th, recently suffered a 4-0 defeat against seventh-ranked Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Marsch acknowledged the difficulty of the upcoming match at Stade Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux but views it as a valuable learning opportunity. He is confident that his team, despite the challenges, will handle the game well. Marsch, appointed on May 13, is focusing on preparing the team for the 2026 World Cup.

France, coming off a 3-0 win against Luxembourg, will be a formidable opponent. Kylian Mbappe, who recently transferred to Real Madrid, was instrumental in that victory. Midfielder Stephen Eustaquio will captain the Canadian team on Sunday, with Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies having led against the Dutch.

Eustaquio emphasized the importance of facing strong teams, noting that despite the heavy loss to the Netherlands, it was a beneficial experience. He is eager to play against top-tier players and believes the team can rise to the occasion.

The Canadian team initially managed to hold off the Dutch but conceded goals in the second half. Marsch is focused on long-term development, aiming to improve steadily towards their 2026 World Cup goals.

Marsch mentioned that Richie Laryea, recovering from a hamstring injury, is available for the game, and Alistair Johnston will undergo a fitness test. The team is preparing for Copa America, where they will face top-ranked Argentina, No. 32 Peru, and No. 42 Chile in Group A.

France, preparing for Euro 24, sees the match against Canada as their final test before the tournament. This will be Canada’s second encounter with France, their first being a 1-0 loss in the 1986 World Cup.

Canada’s current roster includes goalkeepers Maxime Crepeau, Thomas McGill, and Dayne St. Clair; defenders Moise Bombito, Derek Cornelius, Alphonso Davies, Luc de Fougerolles, Kyle Hiebert, Alistair Johnston, Richie Laryea, Kamal Miller, and Dominick Zator; midfielders Charles-Andreas Brym, Tajon Buchanan, Mathieu Choiniere, Stephen Eustaquio, Junior Hoilett, Ismael Kone, Jonathan Osorio, Liam Millar, Samuel Piette, and Jacob Shaffelburg; and forwards Thelonius Bair, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, and Ike Ugbo.

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