‘Rocky’ Rodriguez named NWSL Rookie of the Year

The Equalizer Staff October 3, 2016 17
Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez is the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year. (Photo Copyright Jeff Kassouf/The Equalizer)

Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez is the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year. (Photo Copyright Jeff Kassouf/The Equalizer)

Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez has been voted NWSL Rookie of the Year. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft becomes the first Hermann Trophy Award winner to be voted Rookie of the Year in any of the three women’s professional soccer leagues. The veteran of Costa Rica’s maiden World Cup appearance last summer and the key cog in Penn State’s national championship team last fall, Rodriguez was selected by Sky Blue after they traded Nadia Nadim to the Thorns to move up to the No. 2 pick.

{SEMIFINAL RESULTS: Spirit edge Red Stars | Flash prevail in thriller over Thorns}

Rodriguez appeared in 18 matches for Sky Blue, starting 17 times. She missed one match through injury and another the day after playing for Costa Rica in a friendly against the United States. She scored 1 goal and added 1 assist and was a constant, calming force in Sky Blue’s midfield. Her partnership with Sarah Killion–the No. 2 pick one year earlier–helped Sky Blue make a surprise run to the top four over the summer before they club faltered late to wind up seventh.

“We are absolutely delighted for Rocky in being voted as the NWSL Rookie of the Year. This award is great recognition for all of the hard work she has put forth over the past season,” Sky Blue FC Head Coach Christy Holly said. “She is a key component in a very strong core of players who will continue bringing this organization forward.”

Rodriguez beat out two other finalists, Rachel Daly of the Dash and Emily Sonnett of the Thorns. Sonnett was the player drafted ahead of Rodriguez.

NWSL Rookies of the Year
2013: Erika Tymrak, FC Kansas City
2014: Julie Johnston, Chicago Red Stars
2015: Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars
2016: Raquel Rodriguez, Sky Blue FC

  • guest

    uh, why…

  • Steglitz49

    Congratulations!

  • Steglitz49

    Venezuela scored an unbelievable goal against Nigeria in the U17 WC. Having let the cat out of the bag I won’t tell you how it was done. Go and watch it.

    • Steg Watch

      Nice try. If you actually watched, you would have known it was Cameroon and not Nigeria.

      • Steglitz49

        Indeed. It was Cameroon.

        But, always look on the bright side of life. I reported it. All you could do was whine and whinge as usual.

        While you are at it, please register yourself so we can follow your comments.

        Btw — Canada are beating Germany 1-0 from a goal by Deanne Rose. It is a cracking game. Go watch and enjoy it.

        • Steglitz49

          Germany has just equalized 1-1 on a freekick in injury time of the first half. Scorer Gwinn.

          • Steglitz49

            Match ended 1-1. Canada hung on for grim death but the Germans squandered their chances.

            Canada’s goalie, Lysianne Proulx was outstanding.

  • GT

    Glad to see this. As a Sky Blue fan, I saw constant improvement with Rocky from game #1 to game #20. She adjusted to the pace of the NWSL play and combined nicely with Killian to give Sky Blue a strong midfield. Congrats Rocky!

  • Arcie Tillydee

    I’d have picked Sonnett (Thorns-colored glasses, no doubt…but I think a good, objectiveargument can be made), but defenders seldom win these kinds of awards, and while remarkable for a rookie, Sonnett had her gaffes, and some were serious. But as GT points out, Rocky’s play improved steadily over the season, and she has a huge future ahead of her.

    • guest

      “… but defenders seldom win”
      JJ won rookie award as defender in 2014 and Colaprico as DM in 2015

    • Guest

      What defender in the world does not have gaffes? When you are playing against quality opposition week in and week out, there will obviously be times when things don’t go exactly perfect. That is why there are other defenders and goalkeepers there. Just because a defender makes a few mistakes, that does not discredit them, it is not as though forwards don’t inflict the same damage that a defender mistake does when they botch a wide open opportunity on goal.

  • Guest

    Why was Galton not on the shortlist?

    • JL

      The players, coaches/GM/owners, and the media felt that Sonnett, Daly, and Rodriguez had better rookie seasons than Galton did, so they gave those 3 their votes.

      • Guest

        That is pretty bizarre

  • xanthophobe

    Congrats to Rocky, a player a who is a world class talent and appears to be a class act off the field as well. Can’t wait to watch her grow.

  • SBFan

    Congratulations – Well earned. Since she is not subsidized and Sky Blue is limited as to what they can pay her, I wonder if she will leave for “greener” pastures?

    • Steglitz49

      PSG has had Shirley Cruz for some years now.