Sky Blue FC’s Newest Addition – – NWSL College Draft Round 1, Pick #2
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a 10 team women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, FC Kansas City, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash. Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation.
With the second overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, Sky Blue FC selected 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, Costa Rica international and Penn State University midfielder Raquel Rodriguez.
Women’s Soccer News: Sky Blue FC acquired the second overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft via a trade with the Portland Thorns FC. With the acquired first round pick, Sky Blue FC selected Penn State University midfielder Raquel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez brought home NSCAA All-America First Team and All-Great Lakes First Team honors, All-Big Ten First Team plaudits, and for her performance in the Women’s College Cup she was named to the All-Tournament Team and the Most Outstanding Player on Offense. 2015 was a banner year for Rodriguez as she scored Costa Rica’s the first World Cup goal as the team made its tournament on June 9 against Spain. She also made Penn State history by becoming the first Nittany Lion to score in a World Cup, and earned LYG Player of the Match honors.
SoccerToday and other media outlets spoke with Rodriguez following the exciting news at the NWSL Draft:
Question: How are you feeling?
Raquel Rodriguez: I feel great; I’m very excited. Honestly, I was a little nervous but I’m very grateful that I was the second pick and more so that Sky Blues is interested in me.
Question: Excited to go from college soccer to professional soccer?
Raquel Rodriguez: Yes, I’ve pictured myself in this scenario. Having friends who are professional soccer players, I have always asked questions — so I can to learn from their experiences.
I think it will be a little bit of an adjustment but I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to being a professional soccer player.
Question: Is there any advice you can give to younger soccer players who hope to follow in your footsteps?
Raquel Rodriguez: Always look ahead to what ever you want to reap — work for what you want in the present and the results will come later. Just be patient.
Do not be afraid to dream.
Question: Did you have any idea when they made the trade, you were the player they wanted?
Raquel Rodriguez: I just learned about that trade and the movements just this morning.
Question: It was a big year full of accomplishments for you…
Raquel Rodriguez: Yes, it was a great year for me. I’m very grateful for that and I will always cherish these memories.
Question: Can you comment on your media profile and becoming the face of Sky Blue FC.
Raquel Rodriguez: It’s an honor. I’m just learning about the NWSL, and it’s going to be a new experience for me, so I’m just looking forward to it.
Question: How much of a buzz do you think your being selected as the #2 Draft Pick in the professional women’s soccer league in the USA is going to generate in Costa Rica? What are the young girls there thinking about the the path you’ve taken?
Raquel Rodriguez: I hope this helps to grow the game in Costa Rica. I think right now, because of the World Cup, there is so much more awareness of women’s soccer in the USA. In Costa Rica, the news is going around. I want to be a role model and take this honor with great responsibility.
My hope is to be that role model that the past my generation did not have.
Question: How old were you when you started playing soccer?
Raquel Rodriguez: 4 years old.
Question: What was it like training in Costa Rica?
Raquel Rodriguez: It was good. It was my dad who taught me how to play soccer in the early years. I started with the boys as there were not that many girls playing soccer.
It was interesting, I did grow up with many frustrations.
I just couldn’t see how my dreams could come true.
But things change over time, like I said I couldn’t be more grateful to be here. It’s really a dream come true.