The third-oldest professional soccer team on the planet, Wrexham A.F.C., are rarely out of the headlines these days and they will be getting plenty more attention this summer with glamorous pre-season friendlies lined up against Chelsea, LA Galaxy and Manchester United.
Those games will all take place in the USA with the Welsh club’s profile continuing to rise under the stewardship of Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
The boys from the Racecourse Ground are scheduled to play Chelsea on July 19 at the Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, before they travel to California to face an LA Galaxy II side at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Los Angeles, three days later.
The Red Dragons then take on the Red Devils, with Wrexham and Manchester United due to meet in San Diego on July 25.
Finally, Phil Parkinson’s squad will wrap up their US summer tour with a game against Philadelphia Union II at Subaru Park in Philly on July 28, taking on a team of younger players from the MLS club. Club co-chairman McElhenney is a Philadelphia native so it will be a fitting end to the tour as the team play in his home city for the first time ever.
WHO DID WREXHAM PLAY LAST PRE-SEASON?
Last summer Wrexham’s pre-season friendlies included a game against Macclesfield FC at the Racecourse Ground and a visit to Northern Premier League side Nantwich Town, to play at their Swansway Stadium which has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 fans can be seated.
This year their friendlies against Chelsea at the Kenan Memorial Stadium and Manchester United at the Snapdragon Stadium could be watched by crowds of 50,000 and 35,000 if they sell out at the respective US venues. And that’s without mentioning the millions of fans who will tune in around the world to watch the games online or on television.
After the pre-season concludes Wrexham are straight into action EFL League Two, having been promoted as champions of the National League. With their growing international exposure and a strong playing squad, they amassed a record total of 111 points during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring 116 goals and losing just three of their 46 games.
WHAT ARE WREXHAM’S OPENING FIXTURES?
They are unlikely to find the going as easy as that in League Two though, with their first game taking place at home against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday August 5, just over a week after they get back to Wales from the U.S. tour. They then take on AFC Wimbledon, Walsall, Swindon Town and Barrow in their subsequent four fixtures over the following three weeks.
The ownership of the club by Reynolds and McElhenney and the profile of the team was only enhanced by the popular documentary series Welcome to Wrexham which went behind the scenes of one of the most intriguing sports buyouts of all time.
The two actors are genuine and serious about their ownership, even endearing themselves further to the club’s supporter base by promoting the documentary under the stage names of Wryan Reynolds & Wrob McElhenney.