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Canada routed by Netherlands in Marsch's 1st game

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Canada's men's national team kicked off the Jesse Marsch era in earnest with a 4-0 humbling at the hands of the Netherlands in Thursday's friendly match.

After an admirable opening 45 minutes, the Canadians were picked apart and punished for mistakes in the second half, conceding three goals in 13 minutes en route to the lopsided defeat in Rotterdam.

Bayer Leverkusen star Jeremie Frimpong, a constant threat down the right wing for Ronald Koeman's team, scored one goal and created another. Memphis Depay notched his 45th international goal, while Wout Weghorst also found the net for the European Championship-bound Dutch. Virgil van Dijk completed the rout with a close-range header in the 83rd minute.

In the team's first game under Marsch, Canada utilized a fluid 4-2-2-2 shape with Alphonso Davies, captaining the side for the first time, lining up at left-back. Dayne St. Clair, in fine form at club level with Minnesota United, started in goal, while Marsch opted for a center-back pairing of Moise Bombito and Derek Cornelius.

Canada, ranked 49th in the world by FIFA, looked energetic and organized early. The high-pressing system favored by the team's new American coach was on full display. The Canadians were unable to maintain that same intensity in the second half, though. As holes opened up in the tiring midfield and backline, the Netherlands gladly took advantage.

Canada has been keen to test itself against more illustrious competition ahead of its Copa America opener versus reigning world champion Lionel Messi and Argentina on June 20. Though there were some positive signs in the first outing under Marsch, the final result shows there's plenty of room for growth.

Preparations for this summer's tournament don't get any easier, as Canada's next contest, its final pre-Copa America tuneup, comes Sunday against powerhouse France in Bordeaux.

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