Former Cardinals See Continued Success
We've talked quite a bit about former Cardinals in the WNBA, but there are players from other sports that continue to ply their trade at the next level as well. As my favorite sport is soccer, and the summer soccer tournaments are heating up, let's take a look at a few of those players that have left the fields at Cardinal Park and Lynn Stadium and moved on to compete at the pro and international stages.
The big news this summer is the Women's World Cup. UofL tweeted recently that they would have a representative in France, as Chinyelu Asher has qualified for the Jamaican national team. Asher was a Cardinal for just one year after transferring from Purdue in 2014. Asher was responsible for a goal and an assist over 18 matches that season. Since graduating, she has found herself all over, including the NWSL and Colombia's first women's league. Currently, Asher plays for Stabaek in the Norwegian women's league. In her time with the Jamaican national team, she has scored three goals in nine appearances. She'll look to build on that in France. Jamaica is in a fairly tough group, and they'll need to power through their first match against Brazil on 6/9 before finishing the group against Italy and Australia.
The player with probably the most professional success is Charlyn Corral. Corral graduated from UofL after the 2013 season and had already appeared in a Women's World Cup for Mexico at that point. During the 2012 season, Corral was named the Big East Midfielder of the Year, among other accolades, after scoring 8 goals and tallying 7 assists. The stats don't go back far enough to see her 2013 numbers, but one could assume they were healthy. Corral has scored 18 goals in 33 appearances for the Mexican Women's Team, but none have come in the two World Cups she has been a part of. Mexico did not qualify for France, and Corral is not currently on the roster for the Pan American games. Corral currently plays for Levante, in Spain, where she has 86 goals in 117 appearances since 2015. She has been the top scorer on the team in the last three seasons.
Finally, the newest pro is Gaby Vincent. I've mentioned her a few times on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour as she is working to make a name for herself in the NWSL. After going undrafted following her graduation, Vincent found herself invited to a few camps. She was offered a contract by the Utah Royals and canceled her other visits. Vincent has appeared in the last two matches for the Royals, playing the complete second half of their game against North Carolina and the full 90 of the Royals most recent game against Orlando. That game against Orlando was a shutout. In her 135 minutes, Vincent has completed 61 of her 69 passes, including a 73% long pass success rate. She's also committed no fouls in that time, playing in her preferred position of centerback. After last week's game, she was available to the media, and had a nice back and forth about her experiences so far (linked below). The Royals take on the Washington Spirit today in a battle for first place in the league. Lineups have not yet been announced. We wish the very best to Gaby as she continues to build her brand.
Given recent trends, I don't expect these three will be the last we hear of former Cardinals in the pros and on national teams. Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes has done a great job of bringing in talent from all over, and those players have proven to be important to Louisville and to their respective teams. Former Cardinals Sarah Feola (Canada) and Mollie Rouse (England) showed their stuff for their youth national teams before their careers at UofL ended due to injury and transfer, respectively. Emina Ekic is the obvious candidate for the next big thing to come out of UofL, as she has found herself continually invited to US camps. We'll see how these things play out, and we'll continue to root for our former Cardinals.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
Once again, the studio on Mellwood will be thin this week. Daryl continues to travel, Jared is working hard at a 9-5 (9-12? Saturday bank hours always trip me up), and I've fallen into the clutches of suburbia as today is our neighborhood's annual yard sale. Paulie and Jeff will hold down the fort, though, as they've done successfully for the last couple of weeks. Tune in for some spring sports wrap up, WNBA talk, and the Worldwide Quiz. Cardinal Couple airs at 11AM on WCHQ. WCHQ is available at 100.9 FM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ app, and on Facebook Live.
Until next time, Go Cards!