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The Women's Cup Explained; What You Need to Know

August 16, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Racing Louisville FC News Release


The Women's Cup, an inaugural tournament to be played this week at Lynn Family Stadium, will feature National Women's Soccer League members Racing Louisville FC and the Chicago Red Stars as well as FC Bayern Munich from the Frauen-Bundesliga in Germany and Paris Saint-Germain Féminine from Division 1 Féminine in France.

The four-game tournament kicks off with a bang at 5 p.m. Wednesday when PSG and Bayern - both UEFA Champions League finalists in 2021 - meet. Racing hosts Chicago to cap a doubleheader. A 6 p.m. Saturday final will follow the 3 p.m. third-place game.

Tickets remain available at TheWomensCup.world. A day's ticket is good to see both games of the doubleheader.

Those who can't make it to Lynn Family Stadium can live stream the broadcast via Paramount+.

The Women's Cup marks the first time Bayern's women's side has traveled to play in the United States, while PSG appeared in the 2018 Women's International Champions Cup in Miami. Those two clubs last met in the opening round of the 2019 Women's French Cup, a preseason tournament held in Toulouse, France. PSG topped Bayern 2-1.

Chicago and Louisville - a 2021 NWSL expansion side - have met just once. Racing prevailed in a rain-soaked June 26 away game when former Red Stars Yuki Nagasato and Savannah McCaskill both scored as part of a 3-0 victory.

Should any of The Women's Cup four matches be tied after 90 minutes, they will go straight to penalty kicks.

Let's meet the participants...

FC Bayern Munich

The women's side of FC Bayern Munich launched in 1970 and has played in the top-flight Frauen-Bundesliga since its creation in 1990. The team is coming off a 2020-2021 Frauen-Bundesliga title.

A run to the Champions League semifinals also marked Bayern's deepest since 2019. The squad beat Ajax, BIIK Kazygurt, and FC Rosengard before losing to eventual runners-up Chelsea.

Bayern is led by coach Jens Scheuer. The team is bringing back 17 of 23 players from last year's title-winning season, including Swedish international and Olympic silver medalist Hanna Glas. Lea Schüller, who led the team with 16 goals in 20 matches, also returns.

Bayern already won the 2021 Women's French Cup during its preseason, defeating women's powerhouse Lyon 4-2 in the semifinal Aug. 4 before outscoring Roma 4-0 for the title two days later. The squad will kick off its next Frauen-Bundesliga campaign vs. Werder Bremen on Aug. 29

Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain Féminine was founded in 1971 and has played in Division 1 Féminine since 2001. PSG won its first Division 1 title last season after spending eight seasons as the runners-up to Lyon. The club has also been a Champions League runner-up twice, in 2014-2015 and 2016-2017, before returning to the semifinals last season only to be eliminated by eventual winner Barcelona.

Since winning the league title, manager Olivier Échouafni departed from the team, and it was announced July 6 that Didier Ollé Nicolle would be his replacement. Nicolle previously managed Le Mans FC in the French third division.

PSG is bringing back some of its biggest names, including Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Huitema of Canada and leading scorer Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who netted 21 goals for the club last season. However, the club has also had some notable departures, including Danish international Nadia Nadim, Brazilian star Formiga and starting goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who appeared in every match for PSG last season.

During its current preseason, PSG lost both matches of the 2021 Women's French Cup, dropping the first game to Roma 2-1 on Aug. 4 and the second to Lyon 5-1 on Aug. 6. PSG will kick off its regular season Aug. 29 against Fleury 91.

Chicago Red Stars

A founding member of the NWSL, the Chicago Red Stars have appeared in the league playoffs five times. The squad made its first league championship appearance in 2019, ultimately losing to the North Carolina Courage in the final. The Red Stars also were the runners-up to the 2020 Challenge Cup champion Houston Dash.

This season, Chicago is currently occupying the fifth spot on the NWSL table with a record of 6-7-2. The team is coming off Sunday's 1-0 loss at the North Carolina Courage.

The Red Stars are led by head coach Rory Dames. The team's veteran goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher, is out after suffering a right knee injury representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics' semifinals last month. The Red Stars also had to overcome the loss of U.S. international star Julie Ertz, who sustained a knee injury in May and is awaiting her return for Chicago after playing in the Olympics.

Midfielder Morgan Gautrat and forward Mallory Pugh have stepped up, both making the NWSL's Team of the Month in July. Pugh is the team's leading scorer with three goals through 13 matches so far this season.

Racing Louisville FC

The Women's Cup coincides with the busiest part of the expansion side's inaugural season. Racing's two Cup matches mark the second and third games in a 15-day span, which kicked off Sunday at NJ/NY Gotham FC.

The club is currently 4-6-3 and sits in ninth place in the NWSL standings with 11 matches left to go in the regular season. However, Racing has seen a recent burst in momentum following the mid-season acquisition of English internationals Ebony Salmon and Gemma Bonner along with the high-profile arrival of midfielder Nadim from PSG. Since her arrival in June, Salmon has netted four goals in eight games, making her the team's leading scorer.

Louisville is coming off a 1-1 draw at Gotham following a 3-1 win at home against Kansas City on Aug. 8.

Despite the challenges of being a newly-formed expansion team, Racing is on track to become the most successful expansion in NWSL history, after earning 15 points through 13 games so far this season.

Racing is led by head coach Christy Holly and captain and veteran goalkeeper Michelle Betos.


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