Mar 28, 2023 - Sports

Ryan Reynolds' soccer team to face Manchester United in San Diego

Wrexham owners Rob McElhenney (left) and Ryan Reynolds watch the game with Reynolds' wife, Blake Lively, during the Vanarama National League match between Wrexham and York City at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday in Wrexham, Wales. Photo: Matthew Ashton — AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United will face off against Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham AFC in a friendly soccer match in San Diego, California, on July 25.

The big picture: The game at San Diego State University will be part of Wrexham's first-ever U.S. tour, kicking off in Cary, North Carolina. The Welsh soccer club, one of the oldest in the world, found new fame when actors Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the team in 2020.

  • The club is featured in the FX documentary series "Welcome to Wrexham," which streams on Hulu.

Meanwhile, United manager Erik ten Hag is taking his club on the road ahead of the 2023-24 season for what will be Man U's first match in the U.S. in five years.

What they're saying: "We hope to become America's team — sorry," McElhenney said at news conference Monday. "We said from day one we want to grow the exposure of the club and make Wrexham a global enterprise and we really have to start playing international friendlies to do that."

  • "Americans seem to have really taken to the documentary and that's just because they fell in love with the town. So, the fact that we could bring the town here and spread the story is something that we're really looking forward to."

Of note: McElhenney, best known for his part on the popular TV show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," said Monday from the dais that Wrexham intends to make a Philly stop on its U.S. tour.

Between the lines: San Diego-based tech giant Qualcomm had to clear a few hurdles for the July event, like rescheduling an overlapping concert, to make the deal official, according to the company's chief marketing officer Don McGuire.

  • Qualcomm also helped sell Man United on San Diego State's 35,000-seat Snapdragon Stadium, despite concerns that it's less than half the size of the team's home pitch.

What's next: Tickets for the San Diego match go on sale at 8am Wednesday (starting at $45) and the event is expected to sell out quickly.

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