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‘Rocky’ Rodriguez named NWSL Rookie of the Year

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 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.

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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

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