Women’s soccer became huge in the United States this past summer as team USA competed for the World Cup. We all know what happened in the Finals as Japan ran out penalty shoot-out winners, but it’s safe to say that the North American team were the most exciting side to watch throughout the tournament. They upset favorites Brazil by scoring after 120 minutes of play, and then beat France in similar fashion on route to the Finals. While they ended up short, it was a massive success for the US Women’s National Team and for women’s football as a whole. We had the opportunity to sit down with a member of the squad, Amy Rodriguez, and ask her a few questions. Thanks to Danielle Dussault for making our interview with Amy Rodriguez possible!
What made you want to be a professional soccer player?
I never thought that I would one day be where I am. I worked really hard as a teenager and always loved playing soccer. When I was in my senior year of college I entered myself into the draft hoping that I would get selected for one of the teams and I did.
Who was your role model as a child and as an aspiring athlete?
I always looked up to Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm. I had a big signed poster of Julie Foudy on my wall and I always thought she was inspiration because of how hard she worked and how she played on the field.
What cleats have you worn throughout your career and why?
I have worn PUMA cleats throughout my entire professional career. I am currently wearing the v1.11s, which are comfortable and lightweight.
What do you look for in a good pair of cleats?
Comfort is key. I need to make sure the cleat fits my foot perfectly so I can have the very best touch on the ball. Weight is important too. I depend on my speed a lot, and therefore, it is important for me to have something lightweight.
Do cleats really make a difference in your performance? If so, in what way do they help?
I think cleats make a huge difference. It is important that my cleats mold well to my feet. When I wear cleats with a perfect fit, I am able to get the best touch on the ball possible.
Who is your favorite player to play with?
It’s hard to say. I’ve played with so many great players and all of them have helped me succeed on the soccer field.
If you could play with any professional soccer player (male or female), who would it be?
I think it would be really fun to play with Barcelona. They have a creative and fast attack and I would love to knock the ball around with Lionel Messi.
How was your experience at this past World Cup?
I had a great experience at the World Cup. Unfortunately, we didn’t end on the note we wanted to, but I still had an amazing time representing our country and playing in front of thousands of fans.
How do you personally, and the US team as a whole look to bounce back in preparation of the next World Cup? Do you think you have a chance at winning it?
We are a team that is always motivated to bounce back and improve. We will be spending this next year preparing for the Olympics and working on bringing home that gold medal. After the Olympics, we will then start preparing for the 2015 WWC. There is no doubt in my mind that we will bounce back from this World Cup.
What do you think of PUMA’s Project Pink campaign?
I feel very proud that I have been able to help with Project Pink. PUMA is trying to spread awareness of breast cancer to women and girls, and I think that through soccer is a great way to do that. So many people are affected by breast cancer each year and PUMA is trying to raise money for charities that help those people. I think it’s an awesome campaign and I can’t wait to see this year’s charity winner who will get all the proceeds from Project Pink.
***Supporters are still tweeting #projectpink up a storm, there are a couple more weeks left to nominate your favorite charity, and that voting opens at the end of the month. For more information visit www.puma.com/projectpink.
There you have it; an interview with a World Cup Finalist! Thanks once again to Amy Rodriguez for taking time to sit down with us and answer our questions, and to Danielle Dussault for making the Q and A session possible.
One more thing you should be grateful to Danielle for is her organizing a giveaway of an Amy Rodriguez signed ball! Stay tuned for the competition… you definitely do not want to miss out!