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Sounders will travel to Morocco for Club World Cup in February

The Sounders will journey to Morocco for the FIFA men’s Club Planet Cup. Soccer’s governing body confirmed the location Friday through its Twitter account.

The 7-staff, knockout fashion tournament will operate Feb. 1-11. Extra specifics haven’t been unveiled, which include who will symbolize the Asia Football Confederation, which scheduled its two-legged closing for Feb. 19 and 26.

“I’m super, super thrilled,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said of what will be his first vacation to the North African state. “We’ve experienced various major-title groups (FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Borussia Dortmund) appear to Seattle for exhibition video games, but those people are a minimal little bit distinct. They just really don’t have the exact tempo, the very same tenor, the similar sense. This will be a thing that all of the gamers are up for. … Highlighted by the top two, True Madrid and Flamengo, these (Club Earth Cup opponents) are huge groups with a long history of good results in their respective nations around the world and leagues. We’ve usually appeared up to them and we ultimately get a possibility to actually play towards them in a significant match, which is that pleasure element I’m certain all of our guys are feeling as perfectly.”

Seattle innovative by successful the CONCACAF Champions League title very last spring. Spain’s True Madrid, a four-time Club Entire world Cup winner, will signify Europe’s Union of European Soccer Associations (UEFA) Brazil’s Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores for the Conmebol berth New Zealand’s Auckland Metropolis gained the Oceania Soccer Confederation (OFC) Champions League and Morocco’s Wydad AC innovative by profitable the Confederation Africaine de Soccer (CAF) title.

The host country earns an automatic berth to comprise the seventh Club World Cup workforce. Since Wydad skilled, CAF’s next-put workforce, Egypt’s Al Ahly SC will fill that place.

In the past, FIFA created the event the place the OFC titlist played the host nation in the opening spherical. That winner joined the second spherical — a quarterfinal that this season would involve the Sounders, Wydad, and the AFC champion. The UEFA and Conmebol champions earned computerized berths to the semifinals in earlier variations of the Club Earth Cup.

There are also matches for 3rd-position (semifinal losers) and fifth-location (losers of 2nd-round online games), guaranteeing golf equipment a minimum of two games, if the format continues to be the same.

The FIFA Council made Friday’s conclusion amid Morocco’s historic run at the men’s Environment Cup in Qatar. Morocco is the initial African countrywide crew to progress to the tournament’s semifinal spherical. The Atlas Lions missing Wednesday to defending champion France prior to 68,294 men and women at Al Bayt Stadium — the greater part draped in Morocco’s pink and eco-friendly colors.

Morocco will perform Croatia in a third-position match on Saturday at 7 a.m. PT on Fox/Telemundo. France and Argentina will vie for the title Sunday, which is also at 7 a.m. on Fox/Telemundo.

Qatar is the 1st Arab place to host the Earth Cup, but this is Morocco’s third operate as the Club Earth Cup internet site. It was there in 2013 and 2014, with True Madrid successful the latter occasion.

February’s festivities could be the last as a 7-team tournament. FIFA president Gianni Infantino declared Thursday designs to balloon the Club Globe Cup to 32 groups in 2025. But he hasn’t formally introduced the proposal to the six confederations.

“We experienced agreed a couple of years ago to have a new 24-group men’s Club Globe Cup,” Infantino informed media, incorporating that there are ideas for a FIFA women’s Club Globe Cup, much too. “It must have taken position in 2021 but was postponed because of COVID. The new level of competition will consider spot in 2025 and will feature 32 teams, making it actually like a Environment Cup.”

The Sounders open teaching camp Jan. 4. Schmetzer and his workers are narrowing selections to educate in Arizona then travel to engage in matches from golf equipment in Spain to put together for the Club Environment Cup. The group likely will arrive in Morocco early to regulate.

Seattle could have the identical commencing lineup for the Club Globe Cup as it did to win the CCL final in opposition to Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM in May well 2022. All of the gamers are less than contract, but midfielder Joao Paulo tore his ACL during the match and subbed off in the 29th moment.

The Brazilian was upgraded to on-field rehab operate by the end of the MLS period in Oct. Schmetzer claimed Joao Paulo and midfielder Obed Vargas, who’s been out with a decreased again personal injury since June, will be available for collection. But, Schmetzer reported their goal is to have all people thoroughly healthful for a packed calendar year of matches, not just one tournament.

MLS is slated to open its 2023 year Feb. 25 and crown its winner in December. There will be a monthlong split (July 21 to August 19) for the new 47-group Leagues Cup amongst Liga MX and MLS clubs. The Sounders will also perform at the very least one particular U.S. Open Cup match.

“We ended up thrilled after we received the CCL last at Lumen Field, that was a great celebration,” Schmetzer said of the win right before 68,741 people. “That may have been tabled a small little bit. Certainly now that the announcement has been produced, we know in which we’re going, we know most of our opponents — it rekindles that flame and every person in the organization is going again-and-forth seeking to put together the workforce. And also the front-workplace has a whole lot of function to do mainly because they want to doc all of the social media, the information that goes together with this. There is a lot of get the job done to do to pull this off.”