Last week, Concacaf revealed the qualification process for a revamped FIFA Club World Cup in 2025. As the 2022 Concacaf Champions League winners, the Sounders have been allotted one of the four berths for clubs from the region in the new 32-team format.
The Rave Green's inclusion in the new FIFA Club World Cup is just the latest exciting bit of news for the organization. This year alone, the Sounders became the first MLS team to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup, unveiled The Bruce Lee Kit, and commenced a new ground-breaking broadcast partnership with Apple.
The next few years are set to be transformative for the club. Let's take a look ahead:
Later this year, the Sounders will participate in the inaugural edition of the Leagues Cup, which will see every MLS and Liga MX club competing in a World Cup-style tournament from July 21-August 19, 2023. Placed in a group alongside Real Salt Lake and Mexican powerhouse CF Monterrey, this innovative tournament will serve as a catalyst for the growth of soccer in North America. For an ambitious club like the Sounders, it represents a new trophy to win and a new avenue for establishing supremacy across the region.
This year will include two of the most exciting milestones for the club during its MLS era. First, the opening of the Sounders FC Center at Longacres, a state-of-the-art training facility and corporate office that will house all of the club's business and sporting operations. With four full-size training pitches and over 50,000 square feet of office space, it will immediately become one of the premier facilities in MLS. It's a fitting project for a club with global ambitions. That it is launching 2024 -- when the Sounders will celebrate their 50th anniversary -- is symbolic of the club's commitment to deepening its roots in the community for the next 50 years.
Speaking of the 50th anniversary, 2024 will also mark the culmination the March to the 50th, a two-year brand and community campaign in which the Sounders are celebrating their history. Guided by key findings from thousands of conversations and touch points with supporters, the club will undergo a brand evolution.
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As noted above, the Sounders will participate in the first edition of the expanded FIFA Club World Cup in 2025. This renovated tournament will expand from eight teams to 32, with four representatives from Concacaf. With the news, the Sounders are now the first and second MLS club to qualify for this prestigious competition. The Rave Green will have the opportunity to compete on a truly global stage in meaningful games against the best clubs from South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.
Just three years from now, Seattle will serve as a host city for the biggest sporting event on the planet: FIFA World Cup 2026. It's the type of once-in-a-generation opportunity that can catapult the Sounders -- and all of MLS -- into a new stratosphere. From the Fan Fest at the Waterfront Park on Pier 62/63 to the sold-out matches at Lumen Field, Seattle is ready to welcome the world and provide an unparalleled experience. Above all else, it will serve as a moment for thousands of kids in our region to witness the highest level of the sport first-hand and to fall in love with the game of soccer.