The NWSL Challenge Cup is set to take place and debut the return of group sports in North America since the COVID-19 shutdown of sports earlier this year. While the MLB and NBA have dominated headlines and the PGA Tour has returned to action, the NWSL will mark the return of team sports for the first time since mid-March.
On those NWSL rosters are some pretty famous California Golden Bears alumni including Alex Morgan, though she will not be playing this summer since the birth of her daughter earlier this year.
Set to play in the NWSL Challenge Cup are Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Emily Boyd, Sky Blue FC attacker Ifeoma Onumonu, Utah Royals FC attacker Arielle Ship and Portland Thorns FC midfielder Celeste Boureille.
Boyd played for Cal from 2014 to 2017 and capped her career as the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017. She was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection that year as well. She kept two clean sheets a season ago for the Red Stars in 10 starts. She finished the 2019 season with a 62.9% success rate in net. This came after her 2018 season saw her earn two starts and finish both games with a clean sheet.
Onumonu started eight games a season ago but played in 21. She logged 1,035 minutes for the Sky Blue and finished with three goals scored. She played for Cal from 2012 to 2016 and earned multiple awards including Pac-12 Freshman of the Year back in 2012. She was a multi-time First-Team All-Pac-12 selection during her Bears career.
Ship logged four starts for the Royals last season and eight total games played. She attempted three shots and a 72.0% success rate on her passes in 2019. Ship played for Cal from 2013 to 2016 and was the Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2015 as well as an NCSAA All-American that year.
Boureille made seven starts a year ago for the Thorns and logged 650 total minutes over 10 appearances. She’s a defensive nightmare over the middle with a 66.7% tackle success rate. With 45 career starts over her NWSL career, she’s the most experienced Golden Bear alumni playing this year.
The NWSL Challenge Cup schedule can be found here.