Paul Riley: “The opportunity to play these top European teams is a fantastic chance to show the world the strength, passion and ability that the NWSL possesses.” (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)

CARY, N.C. – Paul Riley and his North Carolina Courage have a new challenge: the National Women’s Soccer League team has been invited to play in the very first International Champions Cup Women’s Tournament.

The competition will take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami July 26-29. The Courage join three of the top teams in the world, including five-time UEFA Champions League winner Olympique Lyonnais, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

“Truly honored and humbled to have our club represented at such a prestigious event,” said Riley, a Long Islander who is the Courage’s head coach. “The opportunity to play these top European teams is a fantastic chance to show the world the strength, passion and ability that the NWSL possesses. As you can imagine there is a fabulous buzz in our locker room regarding this opportunity, and we will grab it with both hands, put our best foot forward and hopefully give the fans attending a tremendous women’s soccer event.”

The tournament will host the best of the best in 2017 NWSL Shield winner Courage, Brazil, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and Japan.