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Wrexham recently did the unthinkable. They gained promotion to the EFL League One, a second consecutive promotion in as many years, a first in the club’s 159-year-old history. As such, the club’s popularity is sky-high. Club owner and Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds’ involvement means Wrexham is a talked about name in the US. But how does the Welsh club measure up to the MLS teams? Former USMNT star Alexi Lalas feels this comparison is one of the most ‘ridiculous things‘ he has ever heard.

In the State of the Union podcast, Lalas was asked whether Wrexham has done more for US soccer than MLS. The pundit replied, “I don’t think Wrexham has done a d**n thing, relative to the growth of soccer. And certainly relative to Major League Soccer.” The pundit, however, did clarify his stance by suggesting it was an Apples and Oranges game. Lalas added, “I’m not saying it is a wonderful story and I’m not saying it doesn’t invite invite, it’s like catnip that to people to comment on it, but that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

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Lalas’ comments are due to a statement made in the CBS Sports Golazo show. The Welcome to Wrexham series was a big hit in the US and it detailed the efforts Reynolds and Rob McElhenney put in behind the scenes. As a result, Alexis Guerreros said on the show, “Wrexham and their TV show and their rise up the ranks is doing as much for soccer in America as probably the MLS is doing right now.” While Lalas feels Wrexham is not doing a better job than MLS in promoting soccer, it’s clear that they are not lagging behind in terms of popularity.

Wrexham’s 2023 tour proved they can draw a sizeable crowd

In July 2023, the Red Dragons visited the United States for preseason. As part of the tour, Reynolds’ side played matches against Manchester United, Chelsea, La Galaxy, and more. The game against Chelsea was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and it was an instant sell-out. Moreover, the ticket prices for Wrexham’s game against Manchester United cost more than an El-Clasico match. Yet, that didn’t stop the people from watching the contest.

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Moreover, owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney do take the side on a visit to the US occasionally. In May 2023, after securing promotion to League Two, the owners flew the heroes of Wrexham to an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas. Such initiatives will undoubtedly improve the club’s stand in the country. With the Red Dragons once again securing a promotion, could another trip to the United States be on the cards? What do you make of the pundit’s comments on Wrexham’s impact on the US soccer scene? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by

Adithya Narayanan

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Adithya is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. A Liverpool fanboy, he takes pride in being alive to witness Jurgen Klopp taking the Reds to domestic and European glory. Adithya loves an in-depth soccer chat involving tactical intricacies and stats.
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Edited by

Amal Joyce