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Seattle Sounders on course for Real Madrid showdown at Club World Cup

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Debutants Seattle Sounders are on course for a potential Club World Cup semi-final against Spanish giants Real Madrid following the draw for the 1-11 February tournament that will be staged in Morocco.

Sounders, who are the first club from the United States to compete at the global finals, must first defeat the winner of the opening round tie between Egyptian side Al Ahly and Auckland City from New Zealand to book their semi-final spot.

Sounders secured their place in the tournament after their title-winning run in the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League, where they beat Club Universidad Nacional from Mexico in the final. South American champions Flamengo from Brazil start in the semi-finals, where they will face the winner of the second round clash between home side and African champions Wydad Casablanca and Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia.

Four-times winners Real Madrid are the most successful team in the competition, while Oceania champions Auckland City are appearing for a record 10th time. Al Ahly have played the most games at the Club World Cup with 18 previous matches.

FIFA plans to expand the competition to 32 teams from 2025, though has provided little detail on how this will be done.

Club World Cup draw:

First Round Al Ahly (Egypt) v Auckland City (New Zealand)

Second Round Seattle Sounders (USA) v Al Ahly/Auckland City Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) v Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

Semi-finals Flamengo (Brazil) v Wydad Casablanca/Al Hilal Seattle Sounders/Al Ahly/Auckland City v Real Madrid (Spain)

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