There is a reason why Amy Rodriguez received a standing ovation when she was picked No. 1 in the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer draft. Sunday she reminded soccer fans why, tallying her first WPS goal and leading the Boston Breakers to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars. Rodriguez has been named Goal.com’s WPS Player of Week 13.
“It took a while, but the young forward who was the first college draft pick for Women's Professional Soccer finally looked more comfortable on the field, and scored her first goal. It should be the start of many more,” Goal.com’s Andrea Canales said.
As soon as the season started, Rodriguez became the must-see player for Boston. She’s young, solid and the future of the U.S. Women’s National Team. So when would she break out? Rodriguez has played in all 11 matches for the Breakers. Prior to Sunday she took 12 shots, including seven on goal. But Sunday her one shot was perfection as she gave Boston a 1-0 lead.
Kristine Lilly found an open Rodriguez in the 22nd minute and sent her the ball. Rodriguez ran into the box, challenged Red Stars goalkeeper Caroline Jonsson and slotted the ball into the lower left corner for a 1-0 lead.
“Amy Rodriguez finally did what a first-round draft pick should—made an impact,” Goal.com contributor Angela Tavares said. “That first goal was too long in the making, and Boston fans will be hoping she can bring that fire home against the second-place Freedom this Wednesday. The Breakers will need it.”
Boston (4-4-3, 15 points) started off the season strong, but has since been struggling to break out of the middle of the pack. The win helped the Breakers move into third place. With seven teams battling for four playoff spots, it’s time for everyone to step up their game. The 22-year-old Rodriguez will undoubtedly help spark the offense.
Rodriguez’s teammate Kristine Lilly also received a Player of the Week nod. Lilly tallied a goal and an assist in Boston’s match. The Los Angeles Sol’s Marta also received a couple votes. Her one goal, four shot (all on goal) performance definitely deserves a mention.
“Marta was creating or a part of every dangerous attacking chance by the sol whether it was in the first or second half,” Goal.com contributor Christa Mann said. “She scored a goal and earned an assist plus she must have sent a dozen beautifully crossed balls across the box that her teammates either misread or miss-struck. She definitely played up to the standard everyone was expecting.”
Defensively Washington Freedom goalkeeper Erin McLeod deserves a nod. McLeod smothered seven Saint Louis attempts on Saturday to help Washington earn a 1-0 win over Athletica. McLeod earned her second shutout of the season with the win.
“McLeod had a fantastic game. She faced nonstop pressure from Athletica, but kept her concentration and never put a foot wrong,” Goal.com’s Jennifer Dawson said. “It's a huge win for Washington, boosting them into second-place, and they absolutely could not have done it without McLeod.”
For more on Women’s Professional Soccer, go to Goal.com’s women’s soccer section.