WREXHAM, the National League champions, are set to embark on an exciting football venture in the United States this week, joining forces with Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The team will participate in The Soccer Tournament, a star-studded seven-a-side competition held in North Carolina, which boasts a prize fund of $1 million.
The event, which kicks off on Thursday, will feature 32 teams from around the world, including renowned clubs like Borussia Dortmund and West Ham United. Wrexham, under the ownership of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, are eager to make their mark in the competition and showcase their footballing prowess.
Adding experience to their lineup, Wrexham has recruited former Premier League midfielder George Boyd, who previously made over 100 appearances for Hull City and Burnley. The Dragons will rely on Boyd’s expertise as they face their first opponents, Como 1907, a team led by former Arsenal and Barcelona playmaker Cesc Fabregas.
Despite retiring from professional football in 2021 after his time at Salford, Boyd was enticed back into the game by his former teammate at Turf Moor, David Jones. Jones will serve as both a player and the manager of the North Wales side for this unique competition.
“Dave brought it up, and I just jumped at the chance,” expressed Boyd in an interview with Mail Sport. “It’s really exciting to get a chance to play football again.”
Adapting to the tournament’s rules won’t be a simple task. The matches consist of two halves of 20 minutes, with slide tackles and throw-ins strictly forbidden. Additionally, if a game goes into extra time, a “golden goal” rule will come into play.
“David has been drilling the rules into us in the last few days,” Boyd revealed. “No slide tackles, and it’s a very fast-paced game. Everyone will need to have the rules memorized on match day, or he’ll be a very annoyed manager!”
In their group stage matches, Wrexham will also face off against US Women and Say Word FC. To progress to the knockout stages, they will need to secure a top-two finish in the group. The tournament has garnered significant media interest, with all matches available for live streaming.
NBC Sports has secured a deal to broadcast 27 matches live, including the final on CNBC. An additional 26 matches will be exclusively streamed on Peacock, while games not shown on NBC will be available on The Soccer Tournament’s YouTube channel.
The anticipation is mounting as Wrexham, alongside their high-profile owners and talented squad, aim to leave a lasting impression on the American soccer scene. The Soccer Tournament promises to be an exhilarating competition, showcasing the skills of both legendary football names and celebrities alike.