Women’s International Champions Cup pairings announced

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Barcelona and Lyon will meet to open the Women’s International Champions Cup in August, while the host Portland Thorns will play the Houston Dash.

The winners of both matches will also meet, with the losers playing in a third-place game at Portland’s Providence Park.

The tournament, to be held Aug. 18-21 and broadcast on the ESPN networks, will be the third WICC. Last year’s event was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Lyon, the 2020 UEFA Champions League winner, is the defending champion from the 2019 WICC. The Thorns qualified for the tournament as winners of the NWSL’s fall series, while the Dash won last summer’s Challenge Cup in Utah.

Barcelona, the 2020 Spanish league leaders, won this year’s Champions League final against Chelsea.

New York-based Relevent Sports Group, which puts on the International Champions Cup for men’s club teams each summer, added the women’s competition in 2018. The 2019 edition was held in Cary, North Carolina, and hosted by the North Carolina Courage. The inaugural event was held in the Miami area.

Relevent plans to add two additional teams to the women’s tournament next year and eight clubs in 2023.

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