By Paul Jones
Wrexham secured a memorable 3-1 victory against Manchester United’s youngsters but are sweating on the fitness of star striker Paul Mullin.
Ryan Reynolds was unable to make the San Diego friendly but fellow owner Rob McElhenney was in attendance as the League Two new boys triumphed at sold-out Snapdragon Stadium.
Elliot Lee, Aaron Hayden and Sam Dalby scored for Wrexham against a United side mostly comprised of Under-21 players, with Marc Jurado scoring for Travis Binnion’s side on a night when Dan Gore was sent off.
That second half red card seemed harsh, especially after the referee decided to only book goalkeeper Nathan Bishop for clumsily bringing down Mullin early on.
The Wrexham star required lengthy treatment before groggily walking off the field with an oxygen mask around his neck, with Lee and Hayden giving Phil Parkinson’s men a half-time lead.
United boss Erik ten Hag watched from the bench as Gore was sent off for a tackle on Andy Cannon early in a second half that saw Dalby head home from close range in front of a 34,248 crowd.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy would love to bring competitive Premier League and Champions League matches to the state.
Manager Phil Parkinson has confirmed Paul Mullin has suffered a punctured lung. Get well soon, Mulls!
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) July 26, 2023
Football is thriving in North America right now, with Lionel Messi joining Major League Soccer side Inter Miami three years out from the USA, Mexico and Canada hosting the World Cup.
The so-called ’39th’ Premier League game has been discussed before and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin recently hinted that a Champions League final could one day be played in the US.
“I know that the clubs have not been wild about that in Europe but I’d love to think that it would happen,” Murphy said.
“You would have Barcelona playing Real Madrid in New Jersey at some point in a regular season or in a Champions League game. I would love that.
“I would just appeal either to the Champions League, if that’s UEFA, and play a game here.
“I can say unequivocally, we would die to have a real competitive game anywhere in America. If it was in New York-New Jersey, you wouldn’t get near that game.
“It would be overwhelming. To have a Champions League game, you wouldn’t be able to get near it.”
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 26, 2023
Murphy was speaking in a media briefing on Saturday before cavernous MetLife Stadium recorded its highest ever attendance for a club football match.
There were 82,262 in attendance for Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Arsenal at a stadium that Murphy believes should host the 2026 World Cup final.
New York-New Jersey is also among the host cities and Murphy believes the showpiece should come to East Rutherford.
“We’re fighting like heck to get the final, which is to be determined,” Murphy said.
These comments from Paul Parkinson are just as reckless as Nathan Bishop’s tackle was on Paul Mullin 🤯 pic.twitter.com/9r3qbYRxEc
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) July 26, 2023