SANDY — As the Utah Royals have been announcing the players who will join the team for the 2018 season after playing for FC Kansas City last year, there’s been a theme of defense.
On Tuesday, the squad announced the commitment of a key offensive player, striker Amy Rodriguez, whose presence on the team is interesting from a few different perspectives. First, the 30-year-old is a longtime fixture on the United States Women’s National Team, having scored 30 goals in 130 appearances, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two World Cups.
Rodriguez has missed all but 48 minutes of the last two NWSL seasons, however, as she gave birth to a child in 2016 and sat out the year and then tore her ACL in the 2017 season-opener and missed the rest of the campaign.
In her NWSL career, however, Rodriguez has been clutch, and ironically so against now-Utah head coach Laura Harvey. Rodriguez scored both goals in Kansas City’s 2-1 title game win in 2014 and then the game winner in the 2015 championship match, both of which came against Harvey and the Seattle Reign.
“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,” Harvey said in the announcement Tuesday.
The Royals will begin training camp Feb. 19. The regular season opens March 24, and the team’s home opener will be April 14. Opponents have not yet been announced.