Raquel “Rocky” Rodríguez has signed a three-year extension to remain with the Portland Thorns through the 2025 season, the team announced today.
The Costa Rica international was drafted out of Penn State University by Sky Blue in 2016 as the #2 overall pick. She made an immediate impact and was awarded the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year award. In her four seasons (76 appearances) with Sky Blue, she had eight goals and five assists.
After the 2019 season, Portland acquired her via trade. The Thorns sent forward Midge Purce and a first round pick to Sky Blue for the international up-and-comer.
Since 2020, she has been an integral part of the midfield. After losing superstar Lindsey Horan (loan to OL) and Angela Salem (retirement), Portland’s midfield had to be rebuilt. The trio of Rodríguez, Hina Sugita, and Sam Coffey make up one of the best — if not the best — midfield in the NWSL. All three have a passing accuracy of above 81%. In her time with Portland thus far, she has seven goals and three assists. Her contributions were a huge part of the 2022 NWSL Championship run, but also in the Thorns winning the 2020 Community Shield, 2021 NWSL Shield, 2021 Challenge Cup, and 2021 WICC title.
ROCKY RODRIGUEZ WITH THE VOLLEY OF A LIFETIME— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) October 23, 2022
WE'LL BE WATCHING THAT ONE FOR YEARS TO COME. pic.twitter.com/2opU2X2jk6
At the international level, Rodríguez has 81 caps and has scored 45 goals for Costa Rica.
The standout midfielder has been one of the most underrated players in the league for too long. The role she has can’t always be measured by stats, but only by heart.
However, her team and the fans know how truly remarkable she is on and off the pitch.
A rock in the midfield— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) November 8, 2022
We've signed midfielder Rocky Rodríguez to a new contract with the club through the 2025 season.
Rhian Wilkinson on Rocky’s extension (Thorns Press Release)
“Rocky is such a popular player with her teammates as well as with the fans. She brings such incredible energy and lightness to her game. Rocky epitomizes the joy we speak about as a team, and you can see this through how she plays and what she tries to do on the field. She had a great season with us and I’m so glad she will be in Portland longer.”
Karina Leblanc on what she brings to the team (Thorns Press Release)
“Entering her eighth season in the league, Rocky has a wealth of experience and a proven ability to rise in big occasions. She’s the type of player that brings passion on the field and a brightness off it, uplifting any environment she’s in. We are thrilled to secure Rocky’s role within the team for several more years.”
What is next for Portland’s Midfield?
Portland already boasts a powerful midfield with Rocky’s calm play, Sam’s brilliance, and Hina’s flair. This group will only get better with more time together. Expect them to continue to dominate and potentially help the club score even more next season. With Lindsey Horan’s pending return next summer, this team has everything it takes to sweep all of the titles in 2023.
Name one team with a better midfield? I’ll wait.