The Women’s Cup gets underway on Sunday in what’s expected to be an electric showcase of some of the world’s biggest clubs. The cup will feature clubs from five different countries on three different continents in one of the more unique and diverse competitions in women’s soccer. Hosted in Louisville, Kentucky, Racing Louisville aren’t just the hosts, they are also the reigning champs after beating Bayern Munich in the final of last year’s edition. You can catch all the action live on Paramount+.
This year’s participants are NWSL clubs Racing Louisville and OL Reign, Japan’s Tokyo Verdy Beleza, Italy’s AC Milan, England’s Tottenham Hotspur and Mexico’s Club America.
The 2021-22 edition featured Racing Louisville, Chicago Red Stars, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain and three of the four games went to penalty kicks.
Action begins on August 14, and there will be three days of games concluding on Aug. 20.
Team everyone is chasing
Racing Louisville FC are tournament hosts and current title cup holders. The team earned their first ever Women’s Cup title after taking down Bayern Munich in 2021 during a penalty kick shootout. Louisville’s roster has many new faces on the team a year later, including a duo of midfield rookies in Savannah DeMelo and Jaelin Howell. They are on a five-game undefeated streak in the NWSL regular season at the moment.
DeMelo recently sat down with CBS Sports’ Attacking Third podcast to discuss playing in the tournament for the first time.
“I think it’s gonna test all of us. I think it’s always fun to play different styles of teams,” said DeMelo. “Playing a team from England versus playing a team from Mexico to playing a team in America — is all super different and I think its just gonna help us out tremendously down the road. … I think it will challenge us and [teach us] what we can do better, and it’ll just help us moving forward”
Team everyone is talking about
The expanded format of the Women’s Cup competition will now feature six participating clubs instead of the previous four, with additional matches that include a quarterfinal round and matches to determine places from third place through sixth.
Tottenham forward and Moroccan international Rosella Ayane spoke with Attacking Third about which teams she’s most excited to potentially play and see out on the pitch.
“I love watching the Japanese play football. They’re such technicians, so Tokyo [Verdy] will be a team that I will enjoy watching,” said Ayane. “They’re all such high-quality teams, you can watch any game and enjoy it. Whoever is on, and we’re free, I’ll watch.”
Women’s Cup schedule
All times Eastern
Matchday 1 on Sunday, Aug. 14
AC Milan vs. Tokyo Verdy, 4 p.m.
Tottenham vs. Club America, 7 p.m.
Matchday 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 17
Fifth-place game, 2 p.m.
Tottenham/America vs. OL Reign, 5 p.m.
Milan/Tokyo vs. Racing Louisville, 8 p.m.
Matchday 3 on Saturday, Aug. 20
Third-place game, 4 p.m.
Final, 7 p.m.