For the first time in women's soccer history, Miami, Florida will be the host to the 2018 Women's International Champions Cup. Olympique Lyonnais is one of four teams to be competing in the inaugural tournament. Before Lyon lace up their boots and compete for the title, here is what you should know about them.
Who is Olympique Lyonnais?
Olympique Lyonnais is what many consider the best women's club in the world. According to UEFA they are the highest ranked women's team in Europe. The club was first named FC Lyon, which was formed in the 1970's. It wasn't until 2004 that they became affiliated with the men's Olympique Lyonnais team. Lyon is the most decorated club in women's soccer with 16 Division 1 Féminine titles, 9 Coupe de France Féminine titles and 5 UEFA Women's Champions League titles.
Reynald Pedros is heading into this tournament as the manager for the second year after being appointed into May 2017. In his first year of management, he lead Lyon to an undefeated season and a Division 1 and Champions League title. Although the tournament is small, Lyon will play one of their common competitors, Manchester City and could play rivals Paris Saint-Germain. This will be a good indicator to see how Lyon is shaping up for the season as they play against top club teams around the world.
Who are their star players?
Considering the amount of titles Lyon has, it doesn't just come with luck. For years, Lyon has been the club top players around the world want to go to. They are still known for having some of the best players in the world so it is hard to name just a few stars.
One of the biggest names is captain, Wendie Renard. At the age of 27, Renard has 100 appearances for the France national team and 163 with Lyon. The centerback has also scored 47 club goals. Alongside her is English defender, Lucy Bronze. Bronze has played with the England national team over 50 times and scored six times. Bronze signed with Lyon in 2017 and in her first season made 11 appearances and scored twice.
In the middle of the field, Japanease captain, Saki Kumagai will be joined alongside Amandine Henry and Amel Majri. German captain, Dzsenifer Marozsán also plays for Lyon but will not be at the tournament due to a health issue. Instead, the midfield will welcome Izzy Christiansen who just signed with the club from Manchester City.
French forward, Eugénie Le Sommer is one to watch. Le Sommer has played with Lyon since 2010. Since then she has made 235 appearances and scored 210 goals for Lyon. Joining Le Sommer in the attack is Norwegian forward, Ada Hegerberg. At the age of 23, Hegerberg has scored 107 goals in just 82 appearances.
Lyon will play Manchester City in their first match of the tournament. The match will take place on Thursday, July 26th at 9pm ET. Depending on the result of this match, Lyon will either play Champions League rival, PSG or NWSL league-leader North Carolina Courage in the ICC final or third place match on Sunday, July 29th.