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Fantasy Fútbol: Are Wrexham a threat to MLS?

The team are media darlings, and their barnstorming tour of the US is prompting some pundits to say the lower-league team are equals to MLS.

Courtesy Paul Mullin on Twitter

“People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.”
– President Andrew Shepherd, “The American President” (1995) 

Let’s just get this out of the way: Are you kidding me, Herc and Seb?!?!

It’s almost laughable that I have to bring this up, but last week the soccer pundits Herculez Gomez and Sebastian Salazar and actually tried to put England’s new National League champions, Wrexham AFC, on par with Major League Soccer.

To be clear, they didn’t compare Wrexham to just one club or two MLS clubs, but to ALL of Major League Soccer. And not on par, but BIGGER!

Is ESPN really THAT hard up for clicks?

Salazar and Gomez debated on ESPN+’s Futbol Americas whether Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have made Wrexham more popular than the entire MLS in the United States.

Hey, I get it. Wrexham are the flavor of the month. The Red Dragons, one of the oldest professional football clubs in the world, were purchased post-pandemic in 2021 by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. If you know about Wrexham, it’s because the club and their telegenic owners featured in a 18-episode FX documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham” to much media attention.

The Welsh club received a flurry of interest as they made an upset-fueled run through the recent English FA Cup tournament, defeating Coventry City and almost upsetting Championship side (and new Premier League promotee) Sheffield United. The matches were promoted on ESPN+, and lifted FA Cup viewership on the service 100%.

And after 15 years languishing in the fifth tier of the ENGLISH SOCCER PYRAMID (those words to be spoken in reverent hushed tones only), Wrexham finally broke through to win their league, and automatic promotion into four-tier EPL’s League Two. The “Welcome” series cameras were there to catch all jubilation for Season Two, now in production. 

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