Sunday's Women’s Pro Soccer (WPS) clash between the expansion Philadelphia Independence and Boston Breakers will mark the return of two former Breaker players; Forward Amy Rodriguez and defender Heather Mitts.
Mitts and Rodriguez by the way are also currently teammates on the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT).
Now enjoying her second go-round with professional soccer in Philly, Mitts was a member of the WUSA’s (Women’s United Soccer Association) Philadelphia Charge seven years ago. Mitts by the way signed with the Independence as a free agent this season.
Toss in a few World Cup medals and Olympic Bronze and Mitts has just about done it all, which pretty much makes the recently married Mitts the steady player she is. Oh by the way, did I mention that back in 1999 Heather also did a little running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
One year ago, Amy Rodriguez (Arod) was on top of the world, staking her place in sports history, as the first ever draft pick of the fledgling Women’s Pro Soccer league.
Adding to the excitement was the chance to play for Boston Breakers legendary head coach Tony DiCicco, the former U.S. Women’s National Team Manager, who had mentored the likes of Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Tiffney Milbrett, just to name a few.
From Arod’s standpoint, it was a dream come true, after all she was the player Boston had selected to build the franchise around. So what happened?
Somewhere between her selection at the 2009 draft and the end of the 2009 season, the magic that had made her the leagues number one overall pick, had vanished.
Arod’s playing time during her rookie season was limited to say the least, as this energetic bundle of talent was under utilized: 17 matches, 11 starts, 982 minutes and just one goal scored.
Certainly not what Boston Breaker fans were expecting and as a result, the Boston experience lasted just one season and on Sept. 29, 2009, Rodriguez was traded to the expansion Philadelphia Independence along with the Breakers first round pick in the 2010 WPS draft. In exchange Philadelphia sent Boston their two first round selections.
Rodriguez narrowly missed the opportunity to score her first goal of the season in last week’s season opener against the expansion Atlanta Beat, but how sweet would it actually be to get that first goal of the year Sunday against the Breakers?
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