City and Canada forward Janine Beckie believes the Women’s International Champions Cup provides the ideal opportunity to continue the growth of the women’s game.
Beckie – a duel-citizen of the USA and Canada – is one of 40 World Cup stars to be competing, as City, Lyon, Atletico Madrid and the North Carolina Courage go head-to-head in the pre-season tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park, North Carolina.
On the back of the summer showpiece in France, the WICC offers the chance to introduce some of Europe’s most talented players to an American audience, whilst yielding the toughest of tests in preparation for the eagerly-awaited 2019/20 campaign.
City face tournament hosts the Courage on Thursday 15 August at 7:30pm EDT (Friday 16 August, 12:30am BST) to determine who will face either Lyon or Atletico in the Final and Third-Place Play-Off on Saturday.
Beckie is delighted to be back on home soil, relishing the chance to see Europe’s best lock horns, particularly against the National Women’s Soccer League outfit.
“We’re excited to be here,” she stated.
“Being around teams and players of a high calibre, and to have so many World Cup players in one place, is great. It doesn’t happen very often.
“The World Cup did a massive job in growing the women’s game this summer.
“To see the hype around the game and to have so many of the players here in one place, getting the US fans familiar with the European game, is really cool.
“The European teams and the US teams have different styles – athleticism is a massive part of the game in the US and that’s how the game has been played for a long time, while European teams bring a real love of playing the game, keeping the ball moving and dictating the tempo.
“We see a lot more teams playing football (passing the ball around) here now. When the two styles clash, it either makes for a one-way game or a competitive game and I think it will be the latter.
“The Women’s International Champions Cup is a unique tournament and a great opportunity for the fans to see a unique style.
“We can’t wait to get going on Thursday.”
City kick-off the 2019/20 Super League campaign with a mouth-watering Manchester Derby, hosting Manchester United on Saturday 7 September at 3pm at the Etihad Stadium in the first encounter between the sides since the league was formed. Tickets are available and kids go FREE – don’t miss out!