Wrexham's dream of FA Cup glory, albeit one that bordered on the line of unrealistic, is over ... for this season. The Welsh club, growing in popularity under the ownership of Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and featuring on docuseries "Welcome to Wrexham," were eliminated from the competition on Tuesday in their fourth-round replay, falling to Sheffield United 3-1 on a pair of stoppage-time goals.
Golazo Starting XI Newsletter
Get your Soccer Fix from Around the Globe
Your ultimate guide to the Beautiful Game as our experts take you beyond the pitch and around the globe with news that matters.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
But bowing out of the most important domestic tournament in the United Kingdom is no poor achievement. They nearly made it to the last 16, which can be viewed as a sign that this team is on the way up, despite being a long ways from where they want to be.
A devastating stoppage time for Wrexham fans. — CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 7, 2023
Sheffield United advance to play Tottenham in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. pic.twitter.com/SLL3HSqo22
"I could not be more proud of those men than I am right now. They gave it absolutely everything," McElhenney wrote on Twitter after the match. "So proud of these boys. And the 4,000-plus away supporters who gave it all," Reynolds tweeted.
As this Cinderella-like run comes to a close, what comes next for the Red Dragons? For Wrexham supporters, both new and old, there is plenty to keep an eye on.
Here's what to know:
League play and the chance for promotion
The club will be back in action on Saturday when they face Wealdstone in National League play. Wrexham find themselves in second place in the National League, the fifth tier of the English pyramid, with a 21-5-2 record and 68 points. They sit three points behind leaders Notts County with a pair of games in hand, which puts them well situated to take first and possibly win the league.
If that happens, Wrexham would automatically go to the fourth tier, joining League Two. That would put them three promotions away from one day potentially playing in the Premier League, though that would require years of patience, loads of investment and exceptional play on the pitch to achieve that dream.
If Wrexham don't finish in first, they will play in the National League play-offs for a spot in League Two next season. At worst, they should be guaranteed a playoff spot come season's end, but winning the league is well within reach.
Listen below and follow In Soccer We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast where your three favorite former USMNT players cover everything you could possibly want to know about the United States men's national team.
No more cup play
This loss to Sheffield concluded the team's cup play for the season. It came just after being eliminated from the FA Trophy as well, losing in the fourth round in penalty kicks to Altrincham. That means the team's only path to a trophy this season is by winning their league, but just being promoted would more than suffice.
Welcome to America, Wrexham
Massive clubs from around the world regularly come to the United States to play in the summer, and we've seen Clasicos between Real Madrid and Barcelona played in Miami, mighty Manchester City took on Bayern Munich at Lambeau Field and much more. One of the next teams coming will be Wrexham, but with a different twist.
That's right. This summer, The Soccer Tournament, a 32-team competition featuring 7-on-7 soccer being played in Cary, North Carolina, will feature Reynolds and McElhenney's club. The event will feature former U.S. Soccer stars DeMarcus Beasley, Heather O'Reilly, CBS Sports' Clint Dempsey and In Soccer We Trust's Jimmy Conrad along with YouTube personality Spencer Carmichael-Brown of Hashtag United. The tournament will run from June 1-4 with a prize of $1 million at stake.