The North Carolina Courage, hosts of the 2019 Women’s International Champions Cup (WICC) will be returning to the competition in hopes of retaining their title on home soil.
Last year, the team managed to lift the first ever WICC trophy after beating Paris Saint Germain 2-1 in the semi-finals and winning the final against Olympique Lyonnais by 1-0.
Since then, the team has continued their success on both domestic and international stages in the world of football and will look to extend this streak.
In the 2018/19 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, the team finished in first place and went on to win the postseason championship, and Paul Riley's team are on track to do the same thing this season.
After 15 games and boast an 8-4-3 record against their competition (averaging out to a 53.3% win ratio) and again sit at the top of the table.
The team was also busy this summer and continued to be successful on the international stage.
Of the 26-player roster, North Carolina Courage had seven players representing their respective countries at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Stephanie Labbe, Debhina, Abby Erceg, Jessica MacDonald, Sam Mewis, Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper all toured to France with their respective teams.
Of course, all of these players will look to bring their best skills to the competition at the end of the month, but there are some players fans should also keep their eye on.
First is Kristen Hamilton, with eight goals to her name she is currently the leading scorer for the club so far this season. Her close control and ability to perfectly place passes and shots are a direct contribution to the team’s success.
Another is Hamilton’s attacking counterpart Lynn Williams who as an alert and direct forward has six goals to her name and is playing some of her best soccer at the moment.
The key factor for the team will be if they can maintain the attacking persistence if they want to push for yet another title under their belt and the talented and experienced roster they have can certainly let them achieve that.
With soccer fever hitting the United States rapidly, Paul Riley’s team will look to put on a show for their home fans who will be hoping to see the second-ever Women's ICC claimed on home soil.
North Carolina will kick off their WICC with a game against Manchester City on August 15th at 7:30 p.m. EST at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.