UPDATED to include Rodriguez’s full statement.
Amy Rodriguez was out for FC Kansas City’s 2016 NWSL season while she was pregnant with her second child. She gave birth then returned to FCKC’s roster for 2017, as well as getting called back in to WNT camp for evaluation. She got playing time for the US against Russia, subbing in to their first game on April 6, and seemed ready for more. Her return to FCKC was far more crucial, adding badly-needed attacking firepower to their roster. And in her very first game back for club, she produced, netting a goal to put them up 2-0 over the Boston Breakers in FCKC’s home opener.
Then: tragedy. Rodriguez was running shoulder-to-shoulder with defender Megan Oyster in the kind of routine jockeying that occurs dozens of times in over the span of a game. Her foot seemed to catch, body traveling forward while leg dragged awkwardly, and she was down. Her face immediately contorted in obvious pain, the kind that made you wish the camera would cut away to give her some privacy.
After receiving a full medical evaluation, the club announced that Rodriguez has suffered a tear to her left ACL and will be out for the rest of the season.
Rodriguez made an instagram post confirming the announcement.
I am heartbroken to announce that I tore my ACL and will soon undergo surgery. I plan to return back home and recover with my family. I couldn't be more thankful for the support of my coaches, teammates, medical staff, friends, family and fans. I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I'm already looking forward to lacing up my cleats again. I've made a comeback twice before, and I will do it again! Phillipians 4:13
The press release also stated Rodriguez’s goal is to return in 2018. Perhaps she’ll recover in time to have a full season with KC and still have a shot at being invited to try out for the 2019 World Cup roster. With the number of young forwards currently in and on the edge of the pool, it seems unlikely. But regardless of future consideration, today and now this is a heartbreaking blow to a talented forward who is almost universally liked among soccer fans. That it happened in this fashion, when she should have been triumphantly announcing her return to the soccer scene, makes it all feel much, much worse.