20 August 2014: Crystal Dunn (USA) (19) and Vanessa Burki (SUI) (18). The United States Women's National Team played the Switzerland Women's National Team at WakeMed Stadium in Cary, North Carolina in an women's international friendly soccer game. The United States won the match 4-1.

Crystal Dunn is a vital link to the North Carolina Courage’s success. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)

NEW YORK – The Women’s International Champions Cup is back for a second year.

The four-team competition will be hosted by the National Women’s Soccer League champion and defending ICC champs North Carolina Courage Aug. 15-18, Relevent Sports Group announced Friday.

The field also includes 2018 Champions League Winner and 2018 Division 1 Féminine champion Olympique Lyonnais, LaLiga Iberdrola’s 2018 Champion Club Atlético de Madrid, and 2018 UEFA Champions League semifinalist and 2018 FA WSL runner-up Manchester City. Winners of the event will for the first time receive a monetary prize, although the exact amount was not revealed during the announcement.

“This tournament is a key component of our core mission; to provide more opportunities for people of all backgrounds to participate in soccer,” RSG CEO Daniel Sillman said. “The women’s game is every bit as compelling as the men’s game, and it is a privilege to host a world class tournament featuring these elite athletes.”

This year’s tournament will feature two official Women’s ICC ambassadors, World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly (Courage) and the first Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyonnais). Other stars participating include Rockville Centre’s Crystal Dunn and Sam Mewis of the U.S. women’s national team, among many others.

“The inaugural Women’s ICC exceeded everyone’s expectations, with a thrilling 1-0 victory by the North Carolina Courage,” RSG executive chairman and co-founder Charlie Stillitano. “As we get closer to kicking off this year’s tournament, I can guarantee there will be a buzz about whether North Carolina will repeat, or if one of the European clubs will capture the trophy.”

The tournament will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. and will be broadcasted on ESPN.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.