It’s never easy to be at the top of your sport no matter who you are. It’s a constant struggle to stay in shape, keep skills at the highest level, battle back from injuries and do all of that in private, just to be judged in the public eye. FC Kansas City and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Amy Rodriguez knows better than most how difficult it can be.
In 2013, A-Rod as she is known, sat out the inaugural NWSL season with the Seattle Reign so she could have her son Ryan. Before returning to the field Rodriguez was traded to FC Kansas City. It took a little while before she would declare she was 100% but the partnership with her friend Lauren Holiday led to FC Kansas City winning their first NWSL Championship in 2014. A-Rod scored three of the four goals for the Blues in the playoffs.
In 2015 Rodriguez and several FC Kansas City team mates went to the World Cup and came home champions. They then set their eye on a second NWSL Championship and brought that home to Kansas City as well. Again A-Rod scored three of the four goals for the Blues in the playoffs.
In those two seasons, Rodriguez scored 13 goals in 2014, 6 in 2015 and an incredible 6 goals in four playoff games.
Prior to the 2016 season, Rodriguez became pregnant with her second child. Her son Luke was born in the summer and she again missed a full season.
Rodriguez has made no secret of the fact that she plans on coming back. She is as tenacious about coming back from her second pregnancy as she is when driving in on a Seattle keeper in the post season.
We wanted to check in with A-Rod and see how she is doing on her road back to playing. These questions were asked before she went to her first U.S. camp after having her second child.
The Blue Testament: How is it going getting back into playing shape?
Amy Rodriguez: “It's been a grueling process, especially while raising two kids, but I've been dedicated to getting back on the field since day one, and I'm not giving up.”
TBT: With this being your second child and the second time working to get back in to playing shape, has it been easier or more difficult?
A-Rod: “Because I have gone through this before, I knew what to expect. However, it is still so difficult to come back from having a baby. Luckily, I've had great support from my fitness trainers, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionist, and, of course, my husband and family.”
TBT: With already having the experience were you able to do anything different?
A-Rod: “I knew what I had to do. I knew it was going to be hard. And I knew I needed to be patient in order to come back strong and healthy. I didn't necessarily do anything different.”
TBT: Advice for other moms that are athletes? Or just moms of two kids?
A-Rod: “Surround yourself with support. I am so luckily to have an awesome husband that supports what I do. I am able to focus on my career AND be a mom. I think some moms have guilt when choosing one over the other.”
TBT: Excited to get back in camp with the National Team?
A-Rod: “Very excited to get back into camp with my team, it's been over a year since I've played with them and I am looking forward to reuniting with my teammates.”
TBT: Were you able to keep up with FC Kansas City and what were your observations on the season?
A-Rod: “I was bummed that I couldn't help the team defend our championship title. It was hard to watch from the sidelines, but I'm looking forward to rejoining them and hopefully bringing home another championship.”
TBT: Looking forward to getting back with FC Kansas City?
A-Rod: “Most definitely! I miss my "second home".
TBT: With Shea Groom stepping up (8 goals) last year and both you and Sydney Leroux coming back, will this be the most firepower up top the Blues have had? Any thought on how Vlatko can get all that attacking ability on the field?
A-Rod: “I'm very excited about the attacking potential of our team. Vlatko is an excellent coach and manager, so I am sure he has some great plans up his sleeves.”
There is little doubt that FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski will be happy to have Rodriguez back in camp. Opposing keepers may not be so happy.