The Seattle Sounders await the winner of Al Ahly vs. Auckland City in the second round of the FIFA Club World Cup in Tangier, Morocco, on Saturday, Feb. 4. Here is an early look at each of the Sounders’ potential opponents.
Al Ahly SC
Location: Cairo, Egypt
League: Egyptian Premier League
Manager: Marcel Koller (Switzerland)
• 42 Egyptian Premier League titles
• 37 Egyptian Cup titles
• 10 African Champions League titles
• 8 African Super Cup titles
• 5 Egyptian Super Cup titles
• 1 African Confederation Cup title
2022-23 Egyptian Premier League record (W/L/D): 11-0-4 (37 points, 1st place)
How they qualified: African Champions League runner-up (assigned host nation berth due to Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca’s automatic qualification as African Champions League winners)
Players to know:
• Mohamed El Shenawy: The 34-year-old goalkeeper has been with Al Ahly since 2016 and has logged over 100 matches. He’s also earned 35 caps for Egypt and started two matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
• Aliou Dieng: The Malian defensive midfielder is in his fourth season with the club after joining from Algerian side MC Alger in 2019. The 25-year-old has scored three goals in 92 appearances for Al Ahly and has earned 17 caps for his country.
• Mohamed Sherif: One of Al Ahly’s top strikers, Sherif has 34 goals in 72 career matches. The 26-year-old, who has 15 caps for Egypt, leads Al Ahly with five goals in 14 domestic appearances this season.
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Auckland City FC
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
League: New Zealand Northern League
Manager: Albert Riera (Spain)
• 10 Oceania Champions League titles
• 8 top flight New Zealand titles
2022 Northern League record (W/L/D): 20-1-1 (61 points, 1st)
How they qualified: Oceania Champions League winner
Players to know:
• Adam Mitchell: The 26-year-old center back has made 53 appearances for Auckland City since joining in 2019. He has four caps for the New Zealand national team.
• Reid Drake: In his first season back with the team after two years away with Australia’s Eastern Suburbs FC, Drake scored six goals in 30 appearances. The 27-year-old midfielder spent four prior seasons with Auckland City.
• Emiliano Tade: One of the few foreigners on the squad, Tade is the all-time leading goalscorer in Auckland City’s history. The 34-year-old Argentine forward has 96 goals in 132 matches since 2011. He is coming off a campaign in which he scored 17 times in 25 appearances.