Amy Rodriguez comes full circle with return to Utah as Royals coach

Ten years after Cindy Parlow Cone coached the Portland Thorns to the first NWSL title, Amy Rodriguez became the second former U.S. women's world champion to take charge of an NWSL team.

On Thursday, the Utah Royals, who will return in 2024, named Amy Rodriguez as their head coach.

Rodriguez was the Royals captain during their first iteration, scoring 15 goals in 51 games over three seasons. She finished with 64 goals in 162 games in eight NWSL seasons with FC Kansas City, Utah, the Kansas City Current and North Carolina Courage. She also played in WPS with the Boston Breakers and Philadelphia Independence.

In 2014, Rodriguez scored both goals for FC Kansas City in a 2-1 victory over Seattle in the NWSL championship game. She also scored the game-winner in the 2015 title match

A-Rod scored 30 goals in 132 appearances for the USA, winning Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and a world title in 2015.

Since retiring as a player after the 2021 season, she has been as assistant at her alma mater USC.

“I absolutely love being back here,” Rodriguez said at her introduction. “It feels a bit full circle to have been here as a player and now to come back as a coach. It’s an incredible honor and I will do my very best to make this community proud because I love this place. I enjoyed my time here so greatly.”

Rodriguez is reunited with Royals president Michelle Hyncik. They were teammates at Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic High.

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