Eight former USC Trojans competing in NWSL Challenge Cup
LOS ANGELES – The National Women’s Soccer League will be the first professional sports league in the United States to resume play when it opens up the NWSL Challenge Cup on Saturday, and eight USC women’s soccer alums will be taking part in the action.
The eight Trojans are spread across six of the league’s eight teams that will be competing in the competition, which will be held in Utah at Zions Bank and Rio Tinto stadiums. The NWSL Challenge Cup will run June 27-July 26. Check out a full schedule along with broadcast information and rosters here.
Below are the professional Trojans scheduled to compete.
Houston Dash: Ally Prisock (D)
Prisock was selected in the second round as the 12th overall pick by the Houston Dash in the 2019 NWSL Draft. She made 15 starts during her inaugural season with the Dash, logging over 1,300 minutes as a defender.
Sky Blue FC: Mandy Freeman (D), Elizabeth Eddy (M)
Freeman was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft by Sky Blue, and over the course of two seasons (2017-18) made 42 appearances for the club. She missed the 2019 season due to injury.
Eddy was the first Trojan ever to be taken in an NWSL Draft when she was selected 33rd overall by Sky Blue FC in 2014. She eventually signed with the Western New York Flash and moved with the team when they became the NC Courage. Eddy was traded back to Sky Blue prior to the 2019 season and had a goal and an assist in 17 appearances last year.
Washington Spirit: Natalie Jacobs (D)
Jacobs will be playing her first professional season with the Spirit after she was selected by the club in the second round (13th overall) of the 2020 draft.
OL Reign: Morgan Andrews (M)
Andrews was the third overall pick of the Boston Breakers in the 2017 NWSL Draft and made 18 caps in her inaugural season before the club folded and she was taken second by the Reign in the NWSL Dispersal Draft. Over the last two seasons with the Reign she has appeared in 25 games. Andrews also made 11 caps on loan for the Perth Glory, scoring seven goals during the 2019-20 season.
Chicago Red Stars: Julia Bingham (D), Katie Johnson (F)
Bingham will be playing in her first professional season with the Red Stars after the club selected her with the 15th overall pick of the 2020 NWSL Draft.
Johnson, like Freeman and Andrews, was selected in the 2017 NWSL Draft when the Reign took her 16th overall. In her rookie season in Seattle, Johnson appeared in 23 games and scored four goals. She was then traded to Sky Blue FC and put up another four goals, this time in 19 appearances, during the 2018 season. Johnson was on the move again prior to the 2019 season when she was sent to Chicago, proceeding to make 13 caps and score once for the Red Stars last year.
Utah Royals: Amy Rodriguez (F)
Rodriguez is one of the longest tenured and most decorated professional soccer players to ever come out of USC, with her pro career dating back to 2009 in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). Rodriguez was the first overall selection in the 2009 WPS Draft and played 17 games for the Boston Breakers during her initial season. She was traded to the Philadelphia Independence prior to the 2010 season, and posted 17 goals in 37 games over two seasons in Philly. After the WPS folded in 2012, Rodriguez ended up with FC Kansas City, and, following a year off for maternity leave, would play there from 2014-17, scoring 26 goals in 38 games. Rodriguez’s rights were transferred to Utah prior to the 2018 campaign and in the last two seasons, she has scored 13 goals in 39 games.
Rodriguez has been a mainstay with the USWNT for years as well, winning Olympic gold medals in both 2008 and 2012, and winning a World Cup title in 2015. She was also a part of the 2011 World Cup runner-up team.