UTAH ROYALS FC

Exclusive: Amy Rodriguez Wants To Achieve Excellence, Titles With Royals

Apr 20, 2023, 11:06 AM | Updated: 11:12 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Former NWSL great and new head coach of the Utah Royals FC Amy Rodriguez said she wants to create an elite club with excellence and championships.

Rodriguez was announced and introduced as the next Royals head coach on Thursday, April 20.

RELATED: Amy Rodriguez To Coach Utah Royals FC In 2024 NWSL Season

The former Royals FC player recently discussed her new role in an interview with KSL Sports Live’s Jeremiah Jensen.

 

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During the conversation, Rodriguez talked about the opportunity to come back and led the Royals, as well as her vision for the club as it returns to the pitch for the 2024 season.

“This is an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to be back in this community with these people, with this city,” Rodriguez told Jensen. “The task is daunting, for sure, but I love a good challenge. I was always a competitive player and I plan to be a very competitive coach.

 

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Since she retired from playing in 2022, Rodriguez has served as an assistant coach at her alma mater, USC.

Jensen asked Rodriquez what she learned in her role with the Trojans.

“Each one of my players is so different. It takes a different type of coaching to really meet the needs and get the most out of my players,” the new NWSL head coach said. “For me, it’s turning my players into the best version of themselves. I think that will continue over from my college coaching career to here.”

Later in the interview, Rodriguez discussed her relationship with the Royals ownership group and what convinced her to take the head coaching job.

“They told me they are all about the empowerment and development of women. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was ready to jump in this role but Utah Royals called me and told me that they believed in me and essentially it made me believe in me,” Rodriguez said. “I think that empowerment, they’re invested in my development a coach, my career. That just got me excited. So I’m really proud to be a part of this.”

Rodriguez played professionally from 2008-22. She also represented the United States from 2005-18 and scored 30 goals in 132 matches. From 2018-20, the former forward was a member of the Royals. During 47 appearances with Utah, Rodriguez scored 15 goals.

The former Royal recounted to Jensen her experience playing in the Beehive State.

“One of the greatest parts about playing here was the fan base and the excitement I felt as a player on the pitch with the great fans that would show up, the community that would support us, just people who believed in us and that was a really wonderful feeling as a player. I’m excited to feel that as a coach.”

Rodriguez said that as she takes this next step in her career, she would like to create a culture with the Royals that features humble, hardworking, and adaptable players.

“I think that’s gonna be a very big part of what this club identifies with. We wanna achieve excellence. We wanna be an elite club,” Rodriguez said. “First and foremost that starts with a culture that is willing to put in the work.”

Despite winning two NWSL titles as a player, Rodriguez said she plans to have a better coaching career than she did as a player, including bringing championships to the Royals.

To hear the entire conversation with the new head coach of the Royals, check out the video player above.

About Utah Royals FC

The Royals announced the club’s return to the Beehive State and the National Women’s Soccer League for the 2024 season on Saturday, March 11.

Originally founded in November 2017, the Royals played in Utah from 2018-20. The franchise was moved to Kansas City in 2020 and currently plays in Missouri under the “Currents” nickname.

The Royals were first established in Sandy, Utah as an NWSL expansion club. The team played as the Royals for three seasons and held its home matches at America First Field, formerly known as Rio Tinto Stadium, which was also the home of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake.

In December 2020, the NWSL announced that the Royals would cease to operate in Utah and the club’s players were transferred to Kansas City.

In January 2022, a new Real Salt Lake ownership group, led by David Blitzer and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, took hold of the option to bring an NWSL club back to the state.

Last season, 12 teams competed in the NWSL.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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Exclusive: Amy Rodriguez Wants To Achieve Excellence, Titles With Royals