United States Women’s National Team Star, FIFA Women’s World Cup Winner, Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Three-Time Algarve Cup winner and 2014/15 NWSL Cup Champion Joins Utah Squad
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, February 6, 2018) — Utah Royals FC welcome FW Amy Rodriguez to the club for the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season, General Manager Craig Waibel and Head Coach Laura Harvey announced today. As one of the most decorated players of the last decade as both an NWSL champion and a United States Women’s National Team catalyst, Rodriguez – nicknamed “A-Rod” – now calls Rio Tinto Stadium home, where she once scored a brilliant 85th-minute game-winner in the USA’s 2012 Olympic send-off match over Canada.
Rodriguez is currently recovering from an ACL injury to her left knee, suffered in a 2-0 opening day win 10 months ago for FC Kansas City. “A-Rod” scored a 48th-minute goal in that match over Boston, her first match after missing all of 2016 due to the birth of her second child. During her professional club career, Rodriguez owns 44 goals in 92 total games, including 26 in 38 career NWSL contests.
“We are excited to get Amy into Salt Lake and help finish off her rehabilitation so she can again show what a huge talent she is,” said Harvey, finalizing the roster prior to the club’s mid-February report date for its inaugural preseason. “Amy has proven her ability to score goals in every year that she has been fit and available in the NWSL. I’m so excited to finally have her on my team and not have to watch her play against me, as she has always haunted my teams.”
During her illustrious international career, Rodriguez has made 130 appearances and scored 30 goals for the U.S. side, after a celebrated debut as an 18-year old high school senior against Finland in the 2005 Algarve Cup. By the spring of 2008, Rodriguez became a regular in the USA lineup, playing in almost every game of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, helping the U.S. secure a gold medal. “A-Rod” earned her second Olympic gold medal in London in 2012, setting a CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying record en route to those Games with a record-setting performance against the Dominican Republic, scoring five (5) goals in a single match.
"I couldn't be more excited for the upcoming NWSL season," said Rodriguez, after one of her recent early-morning offseason fitness sessions. "I can't wait to put on the Utah Royals FC jersey and get back on the soccer field again."
As a USA international, Rodriguez has long played an integral role for the USWNT, starting in both in the 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups, hoisting the trophy in the 2015 Canadian tourney after the USA’s runner-up finish in 2011. In 2012, Rodriguez celebrated her 100th appearance with the senior national team in a friendly against China, where she wore the captain's armband — a team tradition for players reaching the century mark in games played. At just 25 years of age, Rodriguez joined such luminaries as Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Heather Mitts, and Hope Solo among those with 100 or more caps.
“We are elated to add Amy to a roster that already includes U.S. Women’s National Team Captain Becky Sauerbrunn and USA star Kelley O’Hara, along with Canadian internationals Desiree Scott and Diana Matheson, and Icelandic star Gunnhildur Jonsdottir,” said Waibel, working closely with Harvey and staff to build out the remainder of the club’s technical staff and preseason schedule. “Amy’s quality on and off the field, her work ethic and knack for scoring timely goals on the biggest of stages will all be critical as we build the NWSL culture here in Utah.”
Not only has Rodriguez found success as an international player, but at the club level also. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 WPS College draft by the Boston Breakers, Rodriguez appeared in 17 matches during that league’s inaugural season. In 2013, as part of the NWSL Player Allocation, Rodriguez briefly joined the Seattle Reign – then coached by Harvey – before being traded to FC Kansas City. In the 2014 season, Rodriguez scored two goals for FC Kansas City in a 2-1 title game victory over Seattle, helping the club win the 2014 NWSL Championship. She also scored the game-winner in the 2015 title match the following year – again against Harvey’s Reign FC side – earning her the 2015 NWSL Championship Game MVP.
Entering her freshman year at the University of Southern California, Rodriguez was named the 2005 National Player of the Year by Parade Magazine, and was considered the nation’s top recruit. She played for the Trojans from 2005-2008, finishing her college career as the fourth-best all-time leading scorer for USC with 31 career goals, ranking second in career game-winning goals (12), and sixth in career assists (17).
Player: Amy “A-Rod” Rodriguez
Height: 5 foot 4
Date of Birth: February 17, 1987
Hometown: Lake Forest, California
Previous Club: FC Kansas City
Utah Royals FC kick off its inaugural campaign with road games on the weekends of both March 24 and March 31 prior to an international break in early April, finally christening its Rio Tinto Stadium home on Saturday, April 14 (kickoff time and opponent TBD).
Preparations for the NWSL’s sixth season commence locally in Herriman, Utah on Monday, February 19, when the club’s preseason roster convenes for preseason at the world-class Zions Bank Training Center. Season tickets for the 2018 Utah Royals FC season – kicking off March 24 on the road prior to the club's April 14 inaugural game at Rio Tinto Stadium – are now on sale via www.RSL.com/NWSL or by calling 844.Real.Tix.