Buried among the announced 26-player roster for the USWNT's first camp of 2016 was a note that Amy Rodriguez is pregnant with her second child and will be out for a large part of 2016, which ostensibly includes the Olympics, scheduled to start in just over seven months.
This also removes A-Rod from FC Kansas City's roster for the entire season, unless they make playoffs and she's recovered in time.
Rodriguez has seen her time on the field dwindle; in 2015, she had two goals and three assists in 589 minutes over 15 games, for a rate of one goal every 294 minutes. Those goals were against Haiti and Switzerland.
Other strikers, like Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, have been struggling as well. It might be unfair to say definitively that Rodriguez should perhaps face more scrutiny for her numbers than Leroux, who had two goals and two assists in 467 minutes over 11 games, or one goal every 233 minutes. But Leroux had ankle surgery over the summer to address a problem that had been bothering her since the beginning of the year.
Alex Morgan had seven goals and no assists in 1,547 minutes over 22 games, for a rate of one goal every 221 minutes. But Morgan has a significantly better strike rate and, like Leroux, has been attempting to shake a lingering injury.
Rodriguez does have a better record for club, tallying six goals and four assists in 956 minutes over 11 games, or one goal every 159 minutes. FCKC head coach Vlatko Andonovski seems to know how to get the very best out of his players, and A-Rod wouldn't be the first player who was hot for club and lukewarm for country.
But there is a small scrum of attacking talent jockeying to join the USWNT, including Lindsey Horan, Stephanie McCaffrey, Crystal Dunn, and now Mallory Pugh. A-Rod's most consistent provider, Lauren Holiday, has retired, leaving her a bit of a desert scavenger searching for goals.
In a statement about her pregnancy, Rodriguez said that she would return after the baby arrives.
At that point, she'll still only be 29 years old, and if this past year was any indication, can still dash and cut inside at speed or take defenders 1 v 1. But she's not producing at the rate of a really high quality striker anymore. In 2014, she had two goals and two assists in 375 minutes over 12 games, a slightly better strike rate while getting fewer minutes per game than she did in 2015.
Who knows, perhaps A-Rod will bounce back after her second child and blow us all away. There are plenty of examples of women who took time off to have children and then came beasting back to the team, like Christie Rampone and Carla Overbeck. We're just now at the point where the USWNT is really committed to turning over its roster and developing new key players for the next cycle, likely making the 2015 World Cup the last big tournament in which Rodriguez has played.
But don't dwell on that. Instead, enjoy this nice A-Rod goal from March.