The 2021 Women’s International Champions Cup will pit European powerhouses Barcelona and Lyon against NWSL leaders Portland Thorns and league rivals Houston Dash, showcasing numerous world class players across four must-watch matches in the United States.
The competition is being hosted at Portland’s Providence Park later this month from 18 August to 21 August, featuring two semi-finals, a third/fourth playoff and a final.
The two European clubs will meet each other first, as will the two American sides, with the winner of each then facing off to be declared WICC winners.
All four games are being broadcast free on DAZN’s YouTube channel in more than 120 countries and territories across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.
All kick-off times are listed for the UK
Lyon vs Barcelona, 19 August – 1.30am (BST)
Portland Thorns vs Houston Dash, 19 August – 4.00am (BST)
Third/fourth playoff, 22 August – 12.30am (BST)
Final, 22 August – 3.00am (BST)
Barcelona thrashed Chelsea in the 2021 Women’s Champions League final as part of an historic treble for the Spanish club. Already featuring most of Spain’s best players, they have strengthened since then by signing Norway’s Ingrid Engen and Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo.
Lyon won this mini-tournament the last time it was held in 2019 ahead of North Carolina Courage, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid. Their Champions League dominance may have ended in 2021 after five consecutive titles but they retain numerous superstars, including rising USWNT star Catarina Macario and newly crowned Olympic gold medalist Kadeisha Buchanan.
Portland, meanwhile, are setting the pace in the NWSL this season, having won nine of their opening 13 games to go seven points clear of nearest challengers and back-to-back reigning champions NC Courage. Four of their squad have won the World Cup with the USWNT in 2015, 2019 or both, while Canadian legend Christine Sinclair is fresh from winning Olympic gold.
Houston haven’t started so well in 2021, despite winning the makeshift NWSL Challenge Cup in 2020, but are still a danger with several of their own Olympic champions from Canada, as well as England star and Challenge Cup MVP and top scorer Rachel Daly.