Chelsea will face Wrexham at Kenan Stadium on July 19

By R.L. Bynum

Two clubs with a rich history — Chelsea and Wrexham — will meet on Wednesday, July 19, in the first international soccer match in Kenan Stadium history and the first neutral-site meeting between the clubs.

A temporary grass field will be installed for the match.

“We are excited to bring Chelsea and Wrexham to Chapel Hill for this fun and historic event,” UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a release. “We look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world, filling Kenan Stadium and creating a fantastic atmosphere for international competition.”

The match start time and television information haven’t been set.

Group and single-match presale information are available at, with tickets on sale April 27. A portion of the money from ticket sales will be donated to the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic at UNC Children’s Hospital.

Founded in 1905, Chelsea is London’s most central football club, based at the iconic 41,000-capacity Stamford Bridge stadium.

The Blues won their second UEFA Champions League title in 2021 and has also won the Premier League five times, the FA Cup eight times, the Football League Cup five times, the UEFA Europa League twice, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup twice, the UEFA Super Cup twice, the Football League Championship once and, most recently, the FIFA Club World Cup in 2022.

“We are delighted to return to North Carolina as part of our U.S. tour this summer, and play in what I’m sure will be a fantastic atmosphere at Kenan Stadium,” said Tom Glick, Chelsea president of business. “Our strong U.S. fanbase support us incredibly all year round, and we are looking forward to meeting them in Chapel Hill.”

Chelsea is 11th in the 20-team Premier League standings with 10 wins, nine draws and 12 losses after a 2–1 loss Saturday to Brighton and Hov Albion (highlights above) and a 2–0 loss Tuesday to Real Madrid.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (top photo), forward Kai Havartz (seven goals in 29 games), midfielder Reece James and defender Kalidou Koulibaly lead Chelsea.

Wrexham is a historic Welsh club founded in 1864.

The Red Dragons are one of the oldest football teams in the world, and compete in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system. In 2020, actors Rob McElhenney (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool”) purchased the team. The club and its owners are the subjects of the hit docuseries “Welcome to Wrexham,” produced by Boardwalk Pictures.

“Our tour of the United States will be an exciting part of the summer’s build-up to the new season and something we will all be looking forward to in July,” Wrexham AFC manager Phil Parkinson said. “To have the opportunity to play a team of Chelsea’s caliber at the Kenan Stadium, North Carolina, will be a terrific test for our players and form an important part of our preparations for the 2023/24 season. We’re looking forward to meeting some of the fans who have supported us so passionately from afar this season at a renowned athletics stadium.”

Wrexham leads the 24-team National League with 33 wins, eight draws and three losses after a 3–0 win Tuesday over Yeovil Town (highlights below).

Leading the way for Wrexham are forward Paul Mullin (33 goals in 40 games), forward Elliott Lee (10 goals in 30 games), midfielder Thomas O’Connor and defender Ben Tozer.

Chelsea leads the all-time series over Wrexham, 5–2–3. The FC Series match will be their first meeting since 1984.

Since 2015, the Florida Cup & FC Series has featured clubs from all over the world. Last year, Arsenal defeated Chelsea in Orlando. This summer’s FC Series schedule also includes the Orlando stop of the Premier League Summer Series when Fulham and Aston Villa meet on July 26. Additional FC Series and Florida Cup events will be announced later this year.

Photo via @ChelseaFC


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