Sounders won’t look past Al-Ahly to Madrid at Club World Cup

Sounders won’t look past Al-Ahly to Madrid at Club World Cup

It will be a clash of styles when Seattle Sounders FC make their Club World Cup debut against Egyptian side Al Ahly in Tangier on Saturday, Major League Soccer side goalkeeper Stefan Frei has said.

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.

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The winner between the Sounders and Al-Ahly will face La Liga giants Real Madrid in the semi-finals, but Frei said the Sounders know they have work to do first against Saturday’s opponent to stage a historic clash with the winners of the UEFA Champions League.

“We certainly don’t look beyond Al Ahly. They are a very experienced team in this tournament, but if we find ourselves moving forward it would be amazing,” Frei said.

“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.”

Frei and defender Alex Roldan said the team would be physically ready to compete despite having played just two friendlies since the disappointing 2022 MLS campaign ended in October without a playoff appearance for the first time. club history.

“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.”

Saturday opponents Sounders, who have finished third in the previous two Club World Cups, easily beat Auckland City 3-0 on Wednesday.

In the rest of the draw featuring the champion clubs from each continent, local favorites and African champions Wydad Casablanca will face Saudis Al-Hilal in their second round on Saturday. The winner of this match will meet the Brazilian team Flamengo in the semi-finals.

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