In 2018, Amy Rodriguez returned after an ACL injury sidelined her for the 2017 season. Her comeback year in 2018 proved she was still one of the best attackers in the NWSL. 2019, however, defined that claim further, as one of the most important players in the NWSL.
Rodriguez’s time with Utah Royals FC would be uninterrupted in 2019. No longer allocated by U.S. Soccer, Rodriguez was able to focus her time to Utah, and as a result, had a much better season than 2018. With Christen Press away at the World Cup, Rodriguez became Utah’s main attacker in her absence, carrying much of the offense. Her 9 goals this season were the highest for a URFC player and 5th in the league. Her 63 shots (32 on goal) were third in the NWSL.
Press may have the spotlight on her because of her status with the national team, but Rodriguez was, perhaps, Utah’s most important player because of her contributions to the team all season. A-Rod started all 24 games, completed 70% of her passes, and led the team in scoring. Finishing with 9 goals in 2019, A-Rod now has 33 goals in her illustrious NWSL career. She scored one goal per game the entire month of May, leading Utah to two wins and a draw against the North Carolina Courage.
Her one goal against Sky Blue FC in June earned her a nomination for the 2019 FIFA Puskás Award, given annually for the goal of the year. All but eight of Rodriguez’s goals came inside the box, but this particular one, A-Rod took the ball from her own half of the field and dribbled all alone before taking a left-footed 35-yard shot for the goal in a 1-0 win for Utah Royals FC.
Oh my, @AmyRodriguez8!— NWSL (@NWSL) June 16, 2019
1-0 | #UTAvNJ pic.twitter.com/QzmJ6ISKV6
Rodriguez is expected to return in 2020 as the club exercised her contract option last fall. A-Rod will continue to juggle life as a professional soccer and a mom. Last season, the club highlighted her life as she played professionally and raised her two sons.