Seattle Sounders FC, the first-ever MLS participant at a FIFA Club World Cup, may face the tournament's most successful team when descending on Morocco in early February.
The Rave Green, 2022 Concacaf Champions League winners, learned Friday morning that during their Feb. 4 entrance they’ll encounter either Al Ahly (Africa runner-up) or Auckland City (Oceania winner). Those two clubs start the tournament with a Feb. 1 Round One game, and the winner advances to face Seattle in the Second Round.
Should Seattle win in the Second Round, a Semifinal showdown with four-time champions Real Madrid (Europe winner) awaits on Feb. 8. Los Blancos won all but one FIFA Club World Cup title from 2014-18.
The Sounders will head home if they lose in the Second Round, but a Semifinal berth ensures a place in either the Championship or Third Place game on Feb. 11 – giving them one or three guaranteed games at the annual competition (depending on results).
The 2022 FIFA Club World Cup draw was held at the Mohammed VI Football Academy in Salé, Morocco. Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier and Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat will host matches.
First Round (Match 1)
Al Ahly vs. Auckland City
2 pm ET, Tangier
Second Round (Match 2)
Seattle Sounders FC vs. M1 Winner
12 pm ET, Tangier
Second Round (Match 3)
Wydad Casablanca vs. Al-Hilal
9:30 am ET, Rabat
Semifinals (Match 4)
Flamengo vs. M3 Winner
2 pm ET, Tangier
Semifinals (Match 5)
Real Madrid vs. M2 Winner
2 pm ET, Rabat
Third Place (Match 6)
Loser M5 vs. Loser M4
10:30 am ET, Rabat
Final (Match 7)
Winner M5 vs. Winner M4
2 pm ET, Rabat
Real Madrid (Spain)
2021-22 UEFA Champions League winner
Conmebol (South America)
2022 Copa Libertadores winner
Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Concacaf (North America, Central America & Caribbean)
2022 Concacaf Champions League winner
Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)%
Nominated by AFC
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)^
2021-22 CAF Champions League winner & host nation
Al Ahly (Egypt)^
2021-22 CAF Champions League runner-up
Auckland City (New Zealand)
2022 OFC Champions League winner
^ Wydad Casablanca won both the 2021-22 CAF Champions League and the host nation's domestic league (Botola Pro in Morocco). Per FIFA rules, the CAF Champions League runner-up (Al Ahly) then qualifies.
% Due to scheduling issues, the 2022 AFC Champions League Final won't be completed until May 2023. As a result, Al-Hilal will represent Asia as the reigning champions of the 2021 AFC Champions League.
Seattle qualified last May by becoming the first MLS team to win the Concacaf Champions League’s modern edition. That 5-2 aggregate victory over Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM made them MLS’s first-ever FIFA Club World Cup participant.
The Sounders are coming off a 2022 season where they won CCL, but their co-league-record 13-year Audi MLS Cup Playoffs streak ended. Head coach Brian Schmetzer’s team finished 11th in the Western Conference standings, six points off the postseason pace as injuries (back half) and CCL focus (front half) took a toll.
But Seattle also boast one of MLS’s most-talented rosters, sending four players to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and rostering midfielder Albert Rusnak, midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and striker Raul Ruidiaz as Designated Players. So far, their big offseason move is acquiring striker Héber in a trade with New York City FC.
Seattle made four MLS Cups in a five-year span (2016-20), winning in both ‘16 and ‘19. They routinely are one of MLS’s top clubs attendance-wise.
Aside from Club World Cup commitments, Seattle open their 2023 league slate on Feb. 26 when hosting the Colorado Rapids (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass, FS1).
FIFA Club World Cup winners
Only teams from Europe (UEFA, 14) and South America (Conmebol, 4) have won the FIFA Club World Cup. In total, 18 finals have been held since 2000.
Only one Concacaf team (Liga MX's Tigres UANL in 2020) has made a FIFA Club World Cup final.
- 2021: Chelsea (England)
- 2020: Bayern Munich (Germany)
- 2019: Liverpool (England)
- 2018: Real Madrid (Spain)
- 2017: Real Madrid (Spain)
- 2016: Real Madrid (Spain)
- 2015: Barcelona (Spain)
- 2014: Real Madrid (Spain)
- 2013: Bayern Munich (Germany)
- 2012: Corinthians (Brazil)
- 2011: Barcelona (Spain)
- 2010: Inter Milan (Italy)
- 2009: Barcelona (Spain)
- 2008: Manchester United (England)
- 2007: AC Milan (Italy)
- 2006: Internacional (Brazil)
- 2005: São Paulo (Brazil)
- 2001-04: Not held
- 2000: Corinthians (Brazil)