Amy Rodriguez out for season with torn ACL

The Equalizer Staff April 18, 2017 47
Amy Rodriguez tore her left ACL on Sunday, ending her 2017 NWSL season and comeback from pregnancy after a single match (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Amy Rodriguez tore her left ACL on Sunday, ending her 2017 NWSL season and comeback from pregnancy after a single match (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

FC Kansas City confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Amy Rodriguez has a torn left ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. The 30-year old World Cup and Olympic champion was injured without contact during Sunday’s season-opening win over the Boston Breakers. She had scored a goal a few minutes before getting injured in what was her first game for the club since the 2015 NWSL Championship. A-Rod, as she is affectionately known, sat out 2016 in order to have a second child.

“I’m heartbroken by this news, but I am thankful for all the support from my team, medical staff, family, friends and fans,” Rodriguez in a statement released by the club. The release also said Rodriguez plans to rehab and play in 2018.

Rodriguez has set an early standard for postseason performance in the early years of NWSL. In her only two full seasons–2014 and 2015–FC Kansas City won the NWSL Championship. She also sat out 2013, then with the Seattle Reignn on maternity leave and was traded to Kansas City for Kristie Mewis. In Rodriguez’s four playoff games she has scores 6 goals including all three FCKC goals in NWSL Championship play. The only other Blues player to hit the net during those playoff runs was Lauren Holiday.

“I’m extremely sorry for what happened to Amy,” Blues coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She worked so hard to come back from pregnancy and looked better than ever before. It is unfortunate that she is not going to be able to play this season. We’ll miss her on the field, in the locker room, and in training. Her enthusiasm is contagious.”

Rodriguez is not the only player to exit Week 1 with a torn ACL. Joanna Lohman of the Spirit suffered the same injury.

  • Ron Rocha

    There is no sound like an ACL tearing. I cringe every time. Come back strong!

  • NWSLFan

    Super upset about A-Rod. She looked so good after working hard to make another comeback.

    But one picky thing about the article. Erika Tymrak also scored during those playoff runs. She was the second goal in the 3-0 win against Chicago in the semifinals in 2015.

    • Breakers fan

      Forgot about Tymrak being on KC, as she didn’t play against Boston. Is she hurt presently?

      • mockmook

        Wasn’t reported as such.

        I think she is near the end of the bench until she plays better defense.

        However, my own preference is have her as one of two CFs — forget the wing stuff.

        • Breakers fan

          I’m surprised ….I mean, is L’eau Labonta really that much better than her? Newfeld? I like Brit Ratcliffe but would have guessed Tymrak would have gotten the call over her after ARod came out. Tymrak strikes me as a pretty outspoken person….or that may not be the best adjective. Someone not shy, so I think it’s conceivable she may not be towing the company line as much as some of the others if it’s clear she’s borderline-getting-on-the-pitch but that is complete speculation. Like you I think she can be a pretty special player. Seems odd that maybe her lack of hustle on the defensive end, if that is what is behind this, is SO bad, after, one would assume, many warnings about it, that it would continue to be her achilles heel, but what do I know?

          • Bruce

            Mockmook is right. Tymrak is a liability in the midfield. She shines most when she get to play second forward, but I can’t see how that’s an option for her in KC with this roster.

          • Calci0

            It was a curious move, especially when you consider Ratcliffe was just added on the 14th of April…..

          • Breakers fan

            I agree – curious……makes you wonder what’s going on with Tymrak and KC, if there are other issues at play besides purely talent evaluation.

  • Guest

    Horrifying. Maybe Vlatko can work some magic to get Pugh on the team to fill the vacant FWD spot. All of a sudden they go from “loaded with attacking options” to very thin

    • Guest

      Maybe now they just do a two front with Groom and Leroux

      • mockmook

        If they can get everyone else healthy, they have lots of options to fill in that third spot:


        But, as you say, they may revert to a two front — that’s probably more likely.

        • Guest

          Agreed. I like:


          -With LaBonta in Laddish’s spot until she is healthy
          -And maybe Tymrak and Gibbons switching up who starts there

  • Steglitz49

    ARod has made a great innings of her soccer career. World Champion and mother of two. A pity that an ACL-tear should sneak up on her.

    Let’s trust the repair goes well and all ends well. Well played ARod!

    • Observed

      She’s not coming back this time. She’ll be 33 by WC19. And all those other young forwards will have more experience.

      • Steglitz49

        Thank you for reinforcing my point for me.

        It is, nevertheless, a pity that ARod should be struck down with an ACL-tear in the twilight of her career. All repairs do not go well and you can get lingering problems, including knee instability and premature arthritis, though such are rarer these days provided the surgery is top notch.

        • guest

          that is true for a lot of athletes. there is a fair amount of research stating that excessive running and pounding force is bad for the joints.

      • anon

        This is another wasted allocation spot for the year. Of course it isn’t her fault and I feel very bad for her, but she was barely an international caliber player to begin with. I hope Jill has the foresight and flexibility to call in more promising young scorers.

  • Calci0

    You could tell it didn’t look good with the way she went down after minimal contact. Also her reaction spoke volumes. Hopefully she gets some info from AP on how to bounce back strong!

  • guest

    I just tore mine this year skiing. It’s a pain like no other. Well wishes to Arod.. was really looking forward to seeing her play with Sydney this year.

    • Steglitz49

      Though it is no consolation, you can think of the not inconsiderable number of skiers whose careers have taken a bump through knee injury, including some great ones.

      • guest

        True. Thankfully skiing is not my professional job, but that has its own issues lol. It is a very common injury though among regular skiiers especially female skiiers. Three of my closest friends have torn their ACLs on the slopes. I knew what I did as soon as it happened.

        • Breakers fan

          I’ve never had a torn ACL but I did tear my meniscus on a 50-50 ball in soccer – my foot and that of my opponent met the ball at the same time and that did it to my right knee. Got surgery for it pretty soon after. That was bad enough, I bet an ACL is a good deal worse.

        • guest123

          why are knee injuries/acl tears more common among women? Something physiological, I guess

          • guest

            Due to proportionately wider hips, women have naturally misaligned hips and knees, which puts extra strain on the joints. I’m a little bit knock kneed, personally, which is normal among women to varying degrees and can cause ligament strain. There are probably other reasons though.

  • Gary Diver

    CBA and Job Security

    Out of curiosity, what are CBA rules for injured players? Take A-Rod for example. One year of rehab and she will be over 31 years old next year. Is Ellis required to call her up next year? Is she guaranteed an allocation?


    1. Her age. At WC19, she will be over 32 years old.

    2. When she comes back next year, she will not have played competitive soccer for 2 years.

    3. She played a minor role in WC15 and in Ellis’ plans since WC15.

    With the above issues, it would make sense for Ellis to give A-Rod’s allocation to a young player to be developed into a useful, productive member of the WC15 roster which A-Rod is very unlikely to be.

    • guest

      You can’t do that though. There are injury clauses (see: rampone who didn’t play for years (?) due to injury) and pregnancy clauses in athlete contracts. My hope is that the CBA has more provisions for NWSL or college players to be called up but I”m not optimistic.

  • Question…

    When A-Rad says she made comebacks twice before, she means from having the kids, not injuries?

  • Gary Diver

    Injury Insurance

    Every year a number of players in NWSL have season-ending injuries. Amy Rodriquez and Joanna Lohman both suffer ACL tears in the first match of this year’s season. Is there insurance that pays their season salaries?

    What about Natasha Kai who had an operation after last year’s season ended for injuries incurred during the season? Does the insurance carry over past the contract period. For example, effects of last year injuries could prevent Kai from playing this year. Will she get any compensation if she is unable to play?

  • mskillens

    wow I thought she retired after the second child, I havent’ heard her name in a long time.

  • FawcettFan14

    This is such cruel timing. After putting in all the time to recover fitness and sharpness post-pregnancy, after all the training sessions and pre-season games, to suffer a season-ending injury in Game 1 is just awful.

    Her Instagram post implies she wants to play again. Power to her, but how discouraging this must be.

    Disappointing for FCKC too. Leroux, Arod and Groom had something good going.

  • tonysocref

    2 ACL tears on opening weekend and guess what..They both happened on natural grass pitches.

    • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

      They were both non-contact too. Would you like to explain that one?

      • Steglitz49

        You should be able to figure it out for yourself, mate.

        • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

          North American women are inferior in every possible way including their weak ACLs. We know, Steg. You tell us every single day.

          • Steglitz49

            Most ACL-tears are non-contact injuries. They are not exclusive to soccer but occur in basket, handball and floor ball too, also on the ski slopes (Tessa Worley, Tina Weirater and Lara Gut are good recent examples).

            There is no evidence that artificial surfaces cause more ACL-tears than natural grass. None of the injuries in WC-15 were attributed to the artificial surface.

            You should have known this and could have found it out for yourself but you seem to prefer to be spoonfed.

          • disqus_hj8dHnhlYK

            I wasn’t asking about the playing surface aspect about it. I literally asked about the fact that both were non-contact.

          • Steglitz49

            Non-contact is quite common with ACL-tear. Some contend that the vast majority are non-contact.

            There are some simple exercises developed by a group of Swedish orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists which specifically helps reduce the risk of ACL-tears in young women. The problem is that trainers and coaches do not make sure their charges do them religiously.

    • Guest

      If turf is such a great option then why don’t men play on it?

  • mockmook

    It was really touching to see how much Leroux and A-Rod were pulling for each other. Then, it happened…

  • This was heart-breaking to watch. There was so much hype and excitement leading up to opening weekend and watching Syd and Arod back in KC. Then they get on the pitch, and …. phew! they look fantastic! Syd scores and celebrates with so much joy and abandon and Amy looks almost as happy for her as Leroux looks for herself. Then a couple near-misses and then Amy scores and the reaction mirrors the reaction to the first goal. It’s obvious how much they love being on the field and how proud they feel for proving themselves and how much they support each other.

    Then Amy has a little breakaway and is being clever on the ball. It appeared she just stepped on the ball wrong and that was it. I was sitting on the end-line closest to her and saw her pounding the grass in frustration. It was immediately apparent from her reaction that it was a season-ending injury. Horrible for it to be in Game 1 when everyone had been buzzing with excitement and promise for the season.

    This is obviously a big blow to KC, but I feel just horrible for Amy and her family. Crushing setback. And a letdown to fans that we don’t get to watch her on the pitch this year. Same for fans of Johanna Lohman. They have both been so fun to watch in NWSL.

  • Ashley C

    It can be incredibly difficult for women in sport to come back and be fit after pregnancy and they give up a lot for that. I was so heartbroken for her when it happened. You just had a feeling it was bad. I wish her all the best and won’t count her out yet.

    • Steglitz49

      It has been done. Good examples are Marie Dorin Habert and Marit Björgen.

      The ACL-tear is the Achilles heel of WoSo. I feel for both ARod and Syd because had they not bothered to return, their knees would be whole and healthy today.

  • Joel

    Thank you No 8 for adding so much to this sport. Looking forward to your return in 2018. Best wishes.