Forgotten Premier League stars including Stephen Ireland and Chris Eagles form incredible 7-a-side team for $1m jackpot | The Sun
11th May 2023

FORGOTTEN former Premier League stars could go up against Ryan Reynolds in an epic 7-a-side tournament with a whopping winner-takes-all $1million jackpot.

The 32-team festival of football will take place in Cary, North Carolina from June 1-4.

World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas is the standout name who will take to the field at The Soccer Tournament – representing his current side Como 1907.

West Ham – managed by Tom Skinner, Wolves, Borussia Dortmund and Hashtag United are all sending teams to compete, while the US national teams will have two separate squads made up of women's and men's legends.

And following their celebrations in Las Vegas following the dramatic promotion back into the EFL, Reynolds and fellow Hollywood star and co-owner Rob McElhenney could also lace up their boots for the Wrexham Red Dragons.

Meanwhile, ex-Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland, fresh from claiming he "got the better" of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, heads up the Blade & Grass team.


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The squad also features former top-flight players Emile Heskey, Morecambe striker Oumar Niasse, Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea, Keiren Westwood and one-time Manchester United man Chris Eagles.

Together, there amassed 1,183 Premier League appearances while Heskey alone accounts for 110 of their 150 collective goals.

Former Fulham and Tottenham ace Clint Dempsey has entered his own team while a host of MLS heroes are involved, as are Canadian Olympic medallist Lauren Sesselman, a load of social media stars and even MMA's Gregor Gracie.

The Soccer Tournament has pitted the 32 teams into eight groups of four teams, with each side paying an entry fee of at least £8,000.

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Group E is the standout quartet with Wrexham Red Dragons, Como, US Women and Say Word FC, a team representing historically black colleges and universities in America.

Tickets are already sold out – although all the matches at WakeMed Soccer Park will be live-streamed on YouTube – and every game is guaranteed to finish with a goal.

That is because matches will be 40 minutes long – two halves of 20.

But at the end of the second half, the teams will go into the 'target score time' that will be the winning team's score plus one.

For example, if Team A is leading 4-2 after 40 minutes, the target score will be five – with both teams battling to reach that tally.

And if there has been a draw, then the target score will mean it is next goal wins – the target score for a 1-1 draw would be two.

To ramp up the stakes even more, the $1m (£800,000) prize money will all go to the team that wins the Sunday final.

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