International Champions Cup

North Carolina Courage Crowned Women’s ICC Champion; Manchester City Nabs Third

The North Carolina Courage lift the International Champions Cup women's trophy. Image Courtesy of Jonathan Willey (Miami Dolphins)

The best action of the entire International Champions Cup showcase happened last night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. In a double-header showcasing the best women’s talent in soccer PSG, Manchester City, Olympique Lyonnais, and the North Carolina Courage put on a display second to none. In a third-place match that had numerous goals, to a final that produced amazing displays of tactical abilities no other set of matches have come close. 

Women’s International Cup Final and Semi-Final Preview

Image Courtesy of NC Courage

After two fixture dates in the Miami’s International Champions Cup run, one thing has become very apparent. The women’s tournament has been holding it’s own in the shadow of the two men’s fixtures. While Real Madrid and Manchester United is the main event, it’s a shame that the women’s tournament hasn’t received the support it merits at the turnstile. The best action in this tournament has come from the North Carolina Courage and Olympique Lyonnais. The best value in this tournament comes Sunday as the two square off for the inaugural title.

FC Bayern vs Manchester City in the International Champions Cup: Previewing the Match

Graphic courtesy International Champions Cup

International Champions Cup action continues in Miami this weekend as Manchester City face off against Bayern Munich on Saturday evening.

Both the English and German champions are expected to field weakened teams as they’ve already done in the tournament, with several key players still on vacation following the World Cup.

Miami’s House of Soccer Pays Homage To Legends and Local Flair

The House of Soccer Miami pumped people up for the kickoff of International Champions Cup events. Photo by Omar Moubayed.

The House of Soccer event kicked off Friday afternoon in an effort to unite the soccer culture of the Magic City. Located at Mana in Wynwood, the world’s greatest players (american football as well) took the field in a small sided showcase. If that 5-on-5 action wasn’t compelling enough there were four trophies on hand for photo opportunities. 

Olympique Lyonnais Féminin defeat Manchester City Women 3-0 to reach Women’s International Champions Cup Final

Manchester City Women and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin face off in an International Champions Cup friendly. Image courtesy Manchester City Women.

Olympique Lyonnais Féminin will play the North Carolina Courage in the first Women’s International Champions Cup final after the latter bested Manchester City Women 3-0 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The five-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winners and fifteen-time French first division winners scored three early goals to propel them to a commanding lead over the Citizens.

Lyon forward Eugénie Le Sommer scored just four minutes into the match thanks to an assist by Ada Hegerberg and again in the fourteenth, picking up the ball from a City defender and casually walking it around the English goalkeeper Karen Bardsley before slotting it into the net. Hegerberg made her own contribution to the score sheet two minutes later.

After a period of early domination, Lyon were able to hold on to their clean sheet with a defense that highlighted the difference in quality between the two sides.

Lyon and Manchester City’s women’s sides previously met in two UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals, including one last year. On both occasions, Manchester City fell to the eventual Champions League final winners on aggregate goals.

Bayern Munich returns to Miami-Dade, more than 25 years after its first trip

Members of Bayern Munich train before matches in Miami in 1991. Photo via Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Fans of Bayern Munich in Miami-Dade County have a lot to be excited about this week. Die Roten are playing at Hard Rock Stadium on Friday night, facing off against Manchester City. But for some of the Bavarian faithful in the Magic City, it’s a long-awaited return appearance.

While the Cityzens have never played in Miami, Bayern Munich has. In 1991, as part of the Miami Cup, Bayern played two matches. On Feb. 1, Bayern and the Colombian National Team (club vs. country friendlies were much more common at the time than they are now) squared off at the Miami Orange Bowl. In a tense matchup, the teams drew 0-0.

Bayern spanks the Yanks

In the team’s second match of the Cup, also at the Orange Bowl, they easily dispatched the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Americans, fresh off their appearance in the 1990 World Cup, fell 4-0.

“The Untied States — basically a collegiate all-star team — played on the of the world’s finest club teams. Bayern Munich has six players from the West German World Cup championship team,” Steve Wyche wrote in the Miami Herald after the game.

“We’re not technically as sophisticated as they are or as tightly knit as a team,” U.S. coach Bob Gansler said after the game. “Those guys have been playing forever; this is just our second game this year.”

Roland Wohlfarth scored twice in 13 minutes before halftime (25′, 38′) to seal the game, but Manfred Schwabl (39′) and Roland Grahammer (76′) also got in on the action.

The Miami Cup would never be held again at the Orange Bowl, replaced by a Joe Robbie Cup in 1994 at then-Joe Robbie Stadium. That tournament would run through intermittently through 2001, never again attracting a European club the size of Bayern Munich. It took more than 25 years for another Miami-based tournament, the International Champions Cup, to bring the club back.