Soccer-Seattle Sounders ready for clash of styles in Club World Cup debut | WKZO | Everything Kalamazoo
(Reuters) – It will be a clash of styles when the Seattle Sounders make their Club World Cup debut against Egyptian side Al Ahly in Tangier on Saturday, the Major League side’s goalkeeper says Soccer Stefan Frei.
The Sounders, who are the first team from the United States to appear in the World Club Soccer Finals, secured their place in the tournament after winning the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League title.
“It’s going to be different styles going against each other, styles that haven’t really come against each other before,” Frei told reporters on Wednesday.
“Both teams will try to understand each other, but we have shown in the past that we can absorb pressure and be deadly on the counters.”
Frei and defender Alex Roldan said the team would be physically ready to compete despite having played just two friendlies since their disappointing MLS 2022 campaign ended in October.
“The offseason was crucial and the players were professional about it,” Frei said.
“From what I saw, I was very impressed. The guys arrived very lively, very fit and hungry.
The team are taking one game at a time but are well aware that a win on Saturday would set up a semi-final showdown against Spanish giants Real Madrid.
“We certainly don’t look beyond Al Ahly. They are a very experienced team in this tournament, but if we find ourselves advancing, it would be amazing,” said Frei.
“For an MLS team to have the opportunity to play against arguably the best team in the world for something meaningful is a privilege, it’s an honor.
“We feel it and we want to win against Al Ahly so that we can show our talent against such a huge opponent.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis)