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: Ryan Reynolds–owned soccer club Wrexham will play in $1 million winner-take-all U.S. tournament

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made a highly publicized purchase of soccer club Wrexham in 2020. The club will play in the Soccer Tournament this summer. Read More...

Wrexham AFC, the Welsh lower-league soccer club co-owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, will take part in a $1 million seven-a-side tournament in the U.S. this summer.

The Soccer Tournament, also known as TST, will be held June 1–4 in Cary, N.C., and will feature 32 teams. Wrexham is the ninth team to announce its participation in the tournament, which includes Team Dempsey, led by former U.S. men’s national-team star Clint Dempsey; British soccer and e-sports club Hashtag United; Mexican side Club Necaxa; and US Women, a group of former U.S. women’s national team players led by Heather O’Reilly.

Wrexham’s team is to feature club legends. The tournament will mark Wrexham’s first-ever visit to the U.S. The club was founded in 1864.

“Excited to once again welcome @Wrexham_AFC back to America for the very first time,” tweeted Reynolds on Friday.

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“We look forward to debuting in the U.S. with a legends team and the ambition of winning the tournament,” said Shaun Harvey, an adviser to the Wrexham board, in a statement. He noted that if the team wins the tournament, half of the prize money will go toward the club’s work in its community. “Wrexham AFC is more than just a first team,” Harvey said. “It represents the people of North Wales and this tournament will allow us to incorporate former players of the club like we have never been able to do before.”

Receiving his WSJ. Magazine 2021 Innovators Award, actor and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds on mastering marketing through movies: “I worked on movies that were enormous failures. That’s where I learned—I should take some authorship here.”

Reynolds and McElhenney bought Wrexham in a blaze of media publicity in 2020, thrusting the struggling team and the North Wales town into the spotlight. The streaming series “Welcome to Wrexham” has followed their journey with the club as it attempts to win promotion from the fifth to the fourth tier of English soccer.

The Margin (August 2021): ‘Ted Lasso’ teased Ryan Reynolds about his real-life soccer team. Now the actor wants compensation — in biscuit form.

With Reynolds in attendance, Wrexham was within minutes of celebrating a momentous victory in an FA Cup match last month. The team was leading second-tier Sheffield United 3-1 but conceded two late goals as Sheffield forced a replay.

The FA Cup — formally the Football Association Challenge Cup — is the world’s oldest soccer competition, with clubs from virtually all levels of the British football pyramid eligible.

If Wrexham wins Tuesday’s replay with Sheffield United, the club will face Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur in the competition’s quarterfinals.

TBT Enterprises, the company behind TST, inaugurated a similar annual competition known as TBT — with the “B” standing for basketball — in 2014 and has operated it ever since.

The TBT website suggests the basketball event was at least in part inspired by the structure of the FA Cup.

Now read: Apple to pay $2.5 billion to stream Major League Soccer for the next 10 years

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