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How ‘extremely competitive’ USWNT environment motivates Trinity Rodman

Trinity Rodman scored two goals in two games for the USWNT against South Africa in September. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Trinity Rodman is coming into her own for the U.S. women’s national team, and she credits the “extremely competitive” environment as a catalyst for her success.

While Rodman is just 21 years old, the journey to the USWNT has been a long one for the star forward, who told Soccer Bible that she first started taking soccer seriously at 6 or 7 years old. And when she started watching soccer, that sparked a “different” type of love for the game.

“I didn’t watch soccer as much as I think a lot of people did,” she said. “But when I did watch Tobin Heath or Alex Morgan, seeing them on the field, particularly Tobin Heath, watching her creativity and seeing the things that she would pull off in a game intrigued me so much and it made me want to do the same things on the field. I think watching them made me realize that actually that’s something I want to do, something I want to get better at, something I wanted to do in a stadium.”

Now, she says, she “thrives” on the pressure of the big moments. None have been bigger than her first World Cup, which she called “mind blowing” and “insane.” And the shift to the national team has been difficult, leaving her feeling like she is “behind” and needs to catch up.

Yet she is finding her way, as she proved in the last two games for the national team. Her connection with Morgan on the front line resulted in a goals in each of the September friendlies against South Africa.

“The environment is extremely competitive, they have such high standards that were set long before I came along,” she said. “And you’re trying to match energies all the time, trying to build these connections as best as possible with the lack of time I’ve had with these girls.

“The lack of experience I’ve had in this environment has been difficult, but the people around me have been great and they push me to limits I didn’t know that I could be pushed to, so that’s also been very interesting to see.”