The Women’s Cup got underway on Sunday in Louisville, Ky. kicking off what’s expected to be an electric showcase of some of the world’s biggest clubs. The cup features clubs from five different countries on three different continents in one of the more unique and diverse competitions in women’s soccer. 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+.
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This year’s participants include 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 as three of the four games went to penalty kicks.
The action began on Aug. 14 and there will be three days of games concluding on Aug. 20. The Championship final is now set with NWSL teams preparing to compete for the title. Tournament hosts Racing Louisville will aim to defend their Women’s Cup title against OL Reign, while Club America and AC Milan will square off for third place.
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Everyone chasing Racing Louisville
Racing Louisville FC are the tournament hosts and current title holders. The team won the inaugural Women’s Cup title after taking down Bayern Munich in 2021, ultimately lifting the trophy after prevailing in a 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,” DeMelo said. “Playing a team from England versus playing a team from Mexico to playing a team in America — is all super different and I think it’s 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”
The 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 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,” Ayane said. “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 3, Tokyo Verdy 1
Tottenham 1, Club America 2
Matchday 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 17
Tokyo Verdy 2, Tottenham, 1
Semifinals on Wednesday, Aug. 17
Club America 1, OL Reign, 2
AC Milan 0, Racing Louisville 2
Finals on Saturday, Aug. 20
Consolation game, AC Milan vs. Club America, 4 p.m.
Final, Racing Louisville vs. OL Reign, 7 p.m.