Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
When the U.S. Women's National Team takes to the pitch tomorrow in Dresden, Germany against group stage opponent North Korea, Trojan fans will likely recognize at least one familiar face, Amy Rodriguez.
Now a starter for Team USA, the former Trojan looks forward to her first World Cup appearance and the chance to help her country regain the coveted title for the first time since Brandi Chastain's famous shootout goal in the 1999 WC Final.
"It's a growing process. This is my first World Cup, so obviously I'm going in with nerves and a lot of excitement as well," Rodriguez recently told reporters. "I feel like this has been a really long process for me and now it's all kind of come together. It's finally here."
Rodriguez is fondly remembered for leading the Trojans to a National Championship during her junior season in 2007. During USC's NCAA title run, the native of Lake Forest, CA led the team in scoring with 10 goals and three assists. She ranks No.4 all-time in career goals (31) at USC.
As a forward for the Stars and Stripes, the 24-year-old has netted 15 goals in 62 career appearances. During the team's qualifying run in 2010, Rodriguez made a name for herself scoring seven times in 17 matches (11 of which she started).
"I feel like this team has something about it," said Rodriguez on the makeup of the U.S. National Team. "I can't explain what it is, but we know what it takes to win."
When she's not playing for the senior team, Rodriguez (the No.1 overall pick in the Women's Professional Soccer league in 2009) resides in the City of Brotherly Love. She currently plays for the Philadelphia Independence, and finished third in the WPS in 2010 with 12 goals.
To catch Rodriguez and the rest of Team USA against North Korea at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium, tune in tomorrow to ESPN at 9:15 AM Los Angeles time.
(Photo via The LA Times)