CBS Sports Golazo

I'm Mike Goodman, here to help you bid a fond farewell to everybody's favorite underdog story on this Wednesday. Let's get Wrexham's FA Cup elimination and much more below on the Golazo Starting XI newsletter.

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📺 What we're keeping an eye on

⚽ FIFA Club World Cup: Al Ahly vs. Real Madrid, Wednessday, 2 p.m.
⚽ Premier League: Manchester United vs. Leeds, Wednesday, 3 p.m.
⚽ Coupe de France: Marseille vs. PSG, Wednesday, 3:10 p.m. 

⚽  The Forward Line

Wrexham finally bow out of the FA Cup

CBS Sports Golazo

It's a rare thing for the fourth round of the FA Cup to feature a game where the underdog losing is still big news. But what is happening at Wrexham is not ordinary. The fifth-division team from a working class town in Wales was purchased by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney who then made the TV show Welcome to Wrexham about their attempts to build a winning side. Everybody loves it. There's one catch though. You can't regularly watch the team play its league matches.

That's why their FA Cup run garnered so much attention. It was one of the rare times that the games were available for wider audiences. People curious about the team got to see players like striker Paul Mullin, who they'd gotten to know as TV characters in a show do what they do best, actually play the game of soccer.

They improbably forced a fourth-round replay against Championship side Sheffield United, a team three divisions above them in the table, and hung on for 90 minutes, going down early in the second half before Mullin scored a penalty to even it up. Mullin then missed a second penalty which would have given Wrexham the lead. Ultimately, the fairy tale run came to an end when Sheffield's Billy Sharp scored in injury time and Sander Berge added a third for the favorites shortly thereafter. And now we're all wondering what's next for Wrexham? Well, in addition to being in a great position to win their league and earn promotion to League 2, Wrexham are coming to America. Roger Gonzalez has more:

  • Gonzalez: "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."

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

PSG's post-World Cup funk

French soccer's top club is in the midst of a major funk. A season that started off perfect before the World Cup break is now fraying with dropped points and injuries testing this Paris Saint-Germain side. Now they face a massive match against rivals Marseille in the Coupe de France and next week a showdown with Bayern Munich as the Champions League returns (on Paramount+). Jonathan Johnson breaks down the World Cup hangover in Paris:

  • Johnson: "Conceding in seven of nine games since the World Cup is far from watertight and is a major concern ahead of the showdown with Bayern. The midfield has also struggled to pick up without Verratti and Carlos Soler as well as Fabian Ruiz have come under increased scrutiny of late given that they were expected to solve those sorts of problems along with the injury prone Renato Sanches. Youngster Warren Zaire Emery has been a rare ray of hope in a dark winter period but the feeling is that the key lies in the system. Galtier started this season with a 3-4-3 system which PSG got used to and fared well with in a short space of time. Since moving away from that due to a lack of defensive options with Nordi Mukiele also struggling for fitness, the overall form and chemistry has suffered. Getting Verratti, Neymar, and Ramos back for this one in Marseille could be influential, but added emphasis has been placed on the fitness of Kimpembe and the form of Marquinhos and Ramos now that no central defender was signed in January. By the end of this month, we could already know whether or not the World Cup killed PSG's season with the Champions League and Coupe de France in the balance." 

And now let's get to some links:

🔗 USMNTers at Leeds will be fine even after Jesse Marsch's departure, writes James Benge.
🔗 On the women's side, the USWNT have a huge February ahead of them
🔗 With the NWSL schedule drop finally looming, Sandra Herrera grades every team's offseason.
🔗 House of Champions: Chelsea insider Elizabeth Helenek joins the crew to breakdown the Stamford Bridge struggles.
🔗 Attacking Third: NWSL is right around the corner as Herrera and Lisa Roman break you all the latest.
🔗 In Soccer We Trust: The pod breaks down the Leeds firing and Seattle's exit from the Club World Cup.
🔗 Napoli's Victor Osimhen can jump really, really high.
🔗 And remember, all of your soccer needs -- from Champions League to Serie A to NWSL and so much more -- are available on Paramount+. Try one month for free by using the code: SERIEA.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

We're looking for intrigue the next couple of days. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and all times U.S./Eastern.

  • Premier League: Manchester United vs. Leeds, Wednesday, 3 p.m. 
    💰 THE PICK: Manchester United (-210) -- Leeds aren't as bad as their record and sometimes a new manager bounce can occur when a team makes a change. Just don't expect it to happen on Wednesday. United continue to be a force, especially at home where they've won 13 in a row in all competitions. You can follow SportsLine's best bets here.
  • Coup de France: Marseille vs. PSG, Wednesday, 3:10 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: PSG (+122) -- It's not often you can get PSG at better than even money when they're not playing against another one of the world's elite sides. And while it's true that they're struggling a little right now and Marseille sit second in France, it's also true that Marseille are not at their best. They've dropped five points in their last three matches, a stretch which includes a home loss to Nice and a home draw against Monaco. You can follow SportsLine's best bets here.