2019 Women's International Champions Cup Preview
Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

2019 Women's International Champions Cup Preview

After winning the inaugural tournament last year, North Carolina Courage will look to repeat their success - this time at home

amillington
Adam Millington

The 2019 Women's International Champions Cup kicks off tonight when Olympique Lyon face Athletico Madrid in the first of the two semi-finals.

Last year, the courage were winners of the tournament, whilst OL finished second and Manchester City in third. This season's competition will be Athletico Madrid's first appearance as the three European teams continue their pre-season preparations.

North Carolina Courage

The only team who don't play in a winter league, the courage currently sit third in the NWSL, only two points off of Portland Thorns who they lost 2-1 to at the weekend. 

t's been a while since the players who featured for the USA in the Women's World Cup have played in a home game for the courage. Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn and Jessica McDonald have all been absent, and the team's fans will be happy to see them play once again. Dunn led the goal scoring in the league before she left to play in the WWC, and will want to try and carry on that form.

They face Man City in their semi-final, with their aim to be in the final on Sunday.

Manchester City

City will be without new signing Ellen White from Birmingham City, who impressed the entire country whilst playing for England in the World Cup. Top-scorer Nikita Parris left the club earlier in the summer to join Olympique Lyon, following in the footsteps of many of her Lionesses teammates.

They finished second in the FA WSL last year on 47 points, however, they qualified for the Champions League as well as winning the Continental Cup and the FA Cup. City finished third in the ICC last year and will want to use this time abroad to strengthen their team in preparation for the derby against Manchester United on the 7th September at the Etihad.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid faces OL in the opening fixture of the 2019 ICC. The women's game has skyrocketed in popularity in Spain, with Atletico playing in the match with the highest ever attendance for a women's tie earlier this year, when they faced FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico has strengthened their team over the summer, most notably to English fans by the signing of Toni Duggan from Barcelona. The Lionesses forward left Manchester City in 2017, and over the course of this summer was rumoured with moves to a multitude of clubs in the WSL as well as across Europe

Olympique Lyon

Champions League title holders, Lyon will look to do well in the ICC before they embark on another season in France. Jean-Luc Vasseur's side were runners up in the competition last season, and are arguably the strongest team in the women's game.

OL have made many signings over the summer, and their side contains lots of players who featured in the World Cup. A number of English players are at the club, Alex Greenwood and Nikita Parris signing from each of the Manchester clubs in this window so far.

Possibly the best player in the world, Ada Hegerberg is also one of the main attacking threats in Lyon's side. She did not play in the World Cup for Norway in protest but is likely to impress anybody who watches.

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