by Catherine Paquette
Above: Fans gather for The Women’s Cup. Photo: Dash Photography
The upcoming week will see two National Women’s Soccer League clubs host two major invitational women’s cups. The first, The Women’s International Champions Cup, will be held in Portland, Oregon to crown the world’s best club. The second, the Women’s Cup, will be held in Louisville, Kentucky.
Both tournaments follow very similar formats, including the days the matches will be disputed. They are a great opportunity not only to see fantastic European teams play NWSL American teams, but also to see diverse styles of football facing off.
Women’s International Champions Cup
The Women’s International Champions Cup is in its third year of competition. It was first held in 2018, although suspended last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and aims to crown the world’s best club.
This year it has invited four teams to participate. The first two are European teams, the 2020 and 2021 UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyonnais and FC Barcelona. The other two are American clubs, the 2020 and 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup winners the Houston Dash and the Portland Thorns.
Portland, and its stadium Providence Park, will be the host for this year’s WICC. The stadium is the home ground of Portland Thorns, who have the highest average attendance of any women’s club team in the world. Over 20,000 individuals regularly pack into its 25,218 capacity stadium.
The first two matches will be held on Wednesday, August 18. It will start with both European teams meeting at 8:30PM ET (Thursday, August 19 at 1:30 AM BST in Europe) followed by both American teams facing off at 11PM ET (Thursday, August 10 at 4 AM BST in Europe).
The third placed game will occur between both first match losers will occur on Saturday, August 21 at 7:30 ET (12:30 AM BST on Sunday, August 21 in Europe. It will be followed by the final between both first match winners at 10PM ET (3 AM BST on Sunday, August 22 in Europe).
The whole tournament will be broadcast on:
It should bode to be a very competitive tournament. FC Barcelona are coming off a season in which they earned 99 points in the Spanish top flight. l’Olympique Lyonnais have responded to a disappointing campaign by their own high standards by going on an ambitious recruiting drive, the Portland Thorns lead the NWSL by five points and the Houston Dash, while eighth in the league, are behind the second place team by only three points and will be bolstered by a number of returning Olympic medallists.
The Women’s Cup
The second invitational tournament of the week will be the Women’s Cup. Hosted in Louisville, Kentucky, it will follow the same four game format as the WICC. French Division One champions Paris Saint Germain, German Frauen-Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich, NWSL club the Chicago Red Stars and host NWSL club Racing Louisville will be the four teams participating.
The losers of both games will then meet during the weekend for the third placed game at 3PM ET (8PM BST) followed by the winners of both previous games at 6PM ET (11 PM BST) to determine the Women’s Cup champions. This will occur on Saturday, August 21.
The first match should prove to be a competitive one. Bayern Munich are coming off a good pre-season preparation, one that has seen them win the AMOS Women’s French Cup where they beat both Olympique Lyonnais and Roma. Paris Saint Germain’s preparation has not gone as well, losing all three of pre-season matches so far. However, they will have the return of a number of Olympians for this tournament.
Racing Louisville and the Chicago Red Stars have met once prior to their opening tournament match. Racing won the match 3-0. Both have teams fully capable of good creative play. However their teams have also proved inconsistent at times this year.
Broadcasting for The Women’s Cup will be available on Paramount+ in the US, PSG and BM networks in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and on atafootball.com elsewhere.
Impetus will be covering both tournaments in detail, so keep an eye out on our social media (@ImpetusFootball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for Catherine Paquette‘s articles over the coming days.