One of the biggest names in world soccer, Manchester United, will play at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on July 25 in an exhibition match against one of the trendiest names in world soccer, Wrexham AFC, the club co-owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Manchester United and Wrexham to San Diego” said Sports San Diego Chief Executive Officer Mark Neville. “Sports tourism is critical to the health of our economy and bringing these two clubs to our destination in July will surely be a highlight of our summer.”
Manchester United ambassador Andrew Cole traveled to San Diego to announce the match alongside McElhenney, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Qualcomm Incorporated Don McGuire and San Diego Council President pro Tem, Monica Montgomery Steppe.
It will be the first time that Manchester United has played in the U.S. in five years. The club boasts 1.1 billion fans and followers and has won the Carabao Cup already this season; it is currently third in the Premier League and on course to return to the Champions League under first-year coach Erik ten Hag. A youth-focused team drawn from United’s traveling Tour squad supplemented by Academy prospects will have a week-long training camp in San Diego ahead of the game against Wrexham.
50% Dragon. 50% Devil. 100% Red. Wrexham play @ManUtd in San Diego, July 25th!
🔴⚪️ #WxmAFC pic.twitter.com/w7zUjB3d3K— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) March 27, 2023
“This will be the first time the team has visited San Diego and we are looking forward to playing in front of our passionate U.S. fans at the Snapdragon Stadium,” said Manchester United Football Director John Murtough. “Preseason tours are always a great opportunity to give opportunities for our most promising young Academy players to gain valuable experience in the first team environment, and this match against Wrexham AFC is a great example of that.”
Wrexham AFC was formed in 1864 and is the oldest club in Welsh football history and the third oldest in the world. This will be the first time in the club’s history that they will travel to the United States; the club that has been in non-league football for several years was brought to prominence in the United States following the purchase of the club by McElhenney and Reynolds in 2020, and the unveiling of their television series documenting the team and community called Welcome to Wrexham. The team is in first place in its league and could be promoted back to League Two and be part of The Football League for the first time since 2008.
“We’re looking forward to being able to play in the United States for the first time in the Club’s history,” Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said. “The match against Manchester United is sure to be a memorable occasion at the Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego. The tour will be an excellent opportunity for us to prepare for the 2023–24 season, and the match against Manchester United will be a competitive fixture and a good test for us as we look ahead to the new campaign. We enjoy welcoming supporters from the U.S. to the Racecourse Ground and we’re looking forward to being able to play in front of some of these new fans on American soil in the summer.”
The last time these two clubs faced off in a competitive fixture was in the 1995 FA Cup, where Manchester United won 5-2 at Old Trafford. The July match will be organized by TEG Sport and Left Field Live.