Ryan Reynolds’ Wrexham AFC to play in new 7v7 USA summer tournament
‘To boldly go where no football club has gone before.’ It’s not emblazoned on the collar of Wrexham AFC shirts. But it probably should be.
The internet’s favourite non-league football club have big-time plans this summer. The Welsh club will cross the pond to play in the United States for the very first time, with four less players than they’re used to putting out on the pitch.
A new million-dollar, winner-take-all 7-on-7 soccer tournament this summer in North Carolina will be the hottest thing to happen to the sport since… Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought a tiny team on Wales.
‘The Soccer Tournament’ or TST as it is officially referred to, was created by the group that founded the hugely successful, now $1 million, 5-on-5 TBT, ‘The Basketball Tournament.’
The tourney will feature 32 teams, in a format similar to the World Cup, with three group matches before a 16-team single-elimination stage. The maximum field dimensions will be 65 yards in length and 45 yards in width, and matches will be played with 18.5-by-6.5-foot goals.
To Ted Lasso’s delight, there will be no draws. Games will always end with a goal. After two 20-minute halves, an untimed period begins to determine a winner by reaching a target score: one goal more than the leading side had at the end of regulation.
Wrexham’s final roster will be announced closer to, but the club plan to include players who appeared in the “Welcome to Wrexham” documentary series on FX, former players and maybe even some current first-team players according to Shaun Harvey, McElhenney’s football loving friend and adviser to the board at Wrexham.
If Wrexham wins the $1 million grand prize, the Welsh club plans to donate half of it back to their local community in north Wales.
The full squad will also hold a U.S.-based preseason camp in July that would likely include proper friendlies against sides you’ve heard of, but likely never got the attention Wrexham have received over the last year.
TST announced it would include two other high-profile teams: a squad of former U.S. women’s national team players organized by former USWNT star Heather O’Reilly; and Conrad & Beasley United, organized by former USMNT veterans and current media darlings Jimmy Conrad and DaMarcus Beasley.
TST announced it would include two other high-profile teams: US Women, a team of former U.S. women’s national team players organized by former U.S. star Heather O’Reilly; and Conrad & Beasley United, which is being organized by former men’s World Cup veterans Jimmy Conrad and DaMarcus Beasley.
Five other teams have officially been announced including a team run by USMNT joint all-time leading scorer Clint Dempsey, a semi-pro club in England called Hashtag United, Liga MX Club Necaxa which is expected to feature several former players, a squad organized by former MLS player A.J. DeLaGarza; and an FC Cincinnati alumni team.
TST will be held June 1-4 in Cary, North Carolina.