If the Seattle Sounders win their first Club World Cup match on Feb. 4, they’ll have a date against UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid on Feb. 8. The draw took place early Friday morning and set the Sounders’ path.
The path to #ClubWC glory!— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) January 13, 2023
That’s not to say the Sounders’ date with Real Madrid is anything like assured, though. In order to get that opportunity, the Sounders will first have to beat the winner of the match between Egyptian power Al Ahly and Oceania’s Auckland City, which will be played on Feb. 1. The Sounders’ opener will be played in Tangier, Morocco, while any subsequent matches will be in Rabat.
Although they finished runners-up in the most recent CAF Champions League — only earning their spot because winners Wydad Casablanca earned a berth as the top team from the host nation — Al Ahly is the most decorated club in the world. They have won the Egyptian Premier League 42 times, the CAF Champions League 10 times and even have three third-place finishes at the Club World Cup, including finishing third at each of the past two tournaments. They also have dozens of other domestic and international titles. Al Ahly is currently leading the Egyptian Premier League with an undefeated record through 13 matches.
Auckland City, on the other hand, is a semipro club but one with an extensive Club World Cup history. This will be their 11th trip to the Club World Cup and they finished as high as third place in 2014, although they have lost their first game in each of the past three trips.
Fox Sports has the rights to broadcast the matches but has not yet released a schedule of channels they intend to use.