The Aug. 18-21 tournament will be held at Providence Park, where the Thorns averaged more than 20,000 spectators in 2019. Because of health and safety restrictions, capacity has not yet been determined.
A formal announcement is expected this spring. A spokesman for Relevent Sports Group, which operates the International Champions Cup (ICC) for men and women, would not comment.
All four participants are current titleholders, a setup that, in the absence of a FIFA Club World Cup for women, creates an unofficial global championship.
Olympique Lyonnais, featuring stars from several countries, is vying this spring for a 15th consecutive French first-division title and sixth straight UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy.
Barcelona, the current Spanish league leader, was a 2019 Champions League finalist and is likely to face Lyonnais in the semifinals this month.
Houston won the NWSL Challenge Cup last summer, and Portland finished first in the league’s fall series. Those competitions replaced the canceled regular season.
The Women’s ICC will occur the same days as a planned four-team women’s tournament in Louisville. In January, NWSL expansion team Racing Louisville announced it would join the Chicago Red Stars and two European teams to be announced.
The first Women’s ICC was held in 2018 in Miami and won by the North Carolina Courage, which defeated Lyonnais in the final. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City also participated.
In the 2019 tournament, staged in Cary, N.C., Lyonnais defeated the Courage in the title game. Manchester City and Atlético Madrid were also involved.
This summer’s tournament will take place four months into the NWSL campaign, which starts with Friday’s Challenge Cup and shifts into the regular season May 15. The European teams will be in preseason.
Several ICC players, most notably from the U.S. national team, are expected to rejoin their clubs after returning from the Olympics. The gold-medal match in Tokyo is Aug. 6. Portland features U.S. stars Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan.
Relevent is tentatively planning to expand the women’s tournament to six teams in 2022 and eight in 2023, people familiar with the discussions said.
ICC men’s matches were first played in the United States in 2013 and have featured clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona playing in sold-out NFL and major college football stadiums. No plans have been announced this year after the event was not held in 2020.