Seattle Sounders vs. Al Ahly: How to watch & stream, preview of Club World Cup game
A Major League Soccer team’s first-ever FIFA Club World Cup match arrives Saturday in Morocco, as Seattle Sounders FC encounter Round One winner Al Ahly – and a semifinal berth vs. Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid is on the line.
2023FIFA Club World Cup Live
How to watch and stream
- TV: FS2, FOX Deportes
- Streaming: FOXSports app, FIFA+
- Saturday, Feb. 4 | 12 pm ET/9 am PT
- Grand Stade de Tanger | Tangier, Morocco
This Second Round matchup pits the 2022 Concacaf Champions League winners against a storied Egyptian Premier League club, which qualified for the tournament as the 2021-22 African Champions League runner-up.
Whoever wins books a Feb. 8 test against the Club World Cup’s most successful team (Real Madrid are four-time winners) and guarantees a medal-round game. The loser, simply put, heads home.
Seattle Sounders FC
Back in May 2022, Seattle achieved continental glory by becoming the league’s first modern-day CCL winner – beating Liga MX’s Pumas 5-2 on aggregate before nearly 69,000 fans (competition record).
Seattle, beyond climbing the regional mountaintop so many other MLS teams stumbled at, knew a ticket to this year’s Club World Cup awaited. And now it’s about making this North African occasion a memorable one, even if Seattle are coming off a month-long preseason camp and won’t start their 2023 league campaign until Feb. 26.
The Sounders, on paper, have one of MLS’s strongest lineups: club captain Nicolás Lodeiro and striker Raúl Ruidíaz remain as centerpieces, goalkeeper Stefan Frei is as battle-tested as they come, midfielder João Paulo is back from a torn ACL he suffered in last year’s CCL Final, and four players – midfielder Cristian Roldan (US), forward Jordan Morris (US) and defenders Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador) and Nouhou (Cameroon) – were at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Don’t forget about midfielder Albert Rusnák, either, their third DP alongside Lodeiro and Ruidiaz.
That core, and similar players before them, have made Seattle a success-spoiled group. The Rave Green’s 2022 CCL triumph is joined by two MLS Cups (2016, ‘19), a Supporters’ Shield (2014) and four US Open Cups (2009, ‘10-11, ‘14). Their home venue of Lumen Field averages more than 40,000 fans per match, too – they’re a model club in many ways.
Can Seattle shake off the cobwebs of not playing a formal game since Oct. 9 and having their 13-year Audi MLS Cup Playoffs streak end last fall? That answer will dictate if this trip is a short or long one.
Those wondering who Seattle would first face in the Club World Cup got a preview of Al Ahly’s prowess on Wednesday; they comfortably dispatched New Zealand’s Auckland City by a 3-0 scoreline. The Oceanic powerhouse was no match for the Cairo-based outfit in the First Round matchup.
That result seemed likely given Al Ahly’s longstanding success. They are 42-time Egyptian Premier League winners, have won 10 CAF (Africa) Champions League titles and are three-time FIFA Club World Cup third-place finishers (as recently as 2020 & 2021).
Al Ahly aren’t technically a continental champion this go-around, though. They lost to Wydad in last year’s final, but when the Moroccan club’s homeland won hosting rights, it opened up a slot for Ahly to qualify as runners-up.
For danger pieces, Egypt international forward Mohamed Sherif, Mali international midfielder Aliou Dieng, and Tunisian international defender Ali Maaloul are shining examples of the quality they possess. Al Ahly are also in midseason form, sitting in first place (undefeated) above Pyramids FC with 15 Egyptian top-flight games completed.
If MLS onlookers are hoping for easy passage to facing Real Madrid, they ought to reconsider that perspective.