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USWNT World Cup player preview: Get to know Trinity Rodman

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(Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Plenty of new faces are heading Down Under with the U.S. women’s national team for the World Cup. Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at a few of the newcomers and introducing them to fans new and old.

Trinity Rodman

Age: 21 years old
Position: Forward
USWNT debut: February 17, 2022 vs. Czech Republic
Total caps: 18

How has she looked in her NWSL season?

The 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year, Rodman has not slowed down in her third club season. She has four goals and two assists through 13 appearances for the Washington Spirit, who sit just two points out of first place at the World Cup break. She also has had 43 successful take-ons, which is tied for the league lead.

In the last year, she has averaged 1.07 interceptions per 90 minutes, as well as 2.01 blocks and 2.06 aerials won, high marks for a forward and evidence of her skill in gaining possession for her team.

What does she bring to the USWNT?

Quite simply? Goal-scoring. She made that obvious in the USWNT’s 2-0 win against Wales on July 9, becoming the youngest USWNT player to score a brace.

While the broadcast described her as a “15-minute player” when she came into the World Cup send-off match as a substitute, she made an immediate impact on the run of play. Almost instantly, the USWNT started creating solid chances, which Rodman converted — twice.

“I think Trinity came in and had a task to fulfill,” head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the game. “She was one of the players that went in but had a task to raise the pace and raise the tempo a little bit and we saw that changed dramatically. … The second goal, I think that’s a world class goal.”

The World Cup first-timer brings a take-no-prisoners mindset that should prove dangerous for opposing teams. The absence of Mallory Swanson due to injury leaves the USWNT in search of a player to provide the extra grit that made Swanson stand out. Rodman could fill that hole.

“My expectations are that we’re the most ruthless team, we’re never going to give up and we’re going to get the title,” she told ESPN’s “Fútbol Americas.”

Rodman made her USWNT debut in 2022, but since then she has 18 international appearances and four goals to her name. Expect more explosiveness and power from the young star, who could very well be a starter when the USWNT takes the pitch for its World Cup opener against Vietnam.

What have USWNT and NWSL coaches and teammates said about Rodman?

Alex Morgan, forward: “I mean, you look at Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma — like, those are just a couple of the players that have already shown that they belong and will be here for many, many years. So it’s exciting to see what they can do in a world Cup and how they can really be a huge factor in us being successful this summer.”

Vlatko Andonovski, head coach: “Ever since she came in the league, we could see the energy and the creativity and the intensity that she brings. I feel like every time when she gets the ball, it’s almost like there is a little expectation of, something will happen, something will transpire off of it.”

Becky Sauerbrunn, defender: “She’s a special player and her ability to create chances is truly a gift. I think she has a bright career in front of her.”

Mark Parsons, Washington Spirit head coach: “Trin has had a lot of expectation. I also disagree with that, and I think that’s unfair. I think that this is a 21-year-old that things are coming thick and fast. She’s taken everything in her stride. I think she’s doing a wonderful job at trying to stay focused on what is most important, which is being a good person, being a good teammate and developing as a soccer player.

“With Trin, she defends and chases and runs and sprints and presses people like no one else. She knows how to beat people 1 v. 1 and run in behind and finish and create goals. They’re the things that make her special.”

Casey Stoney, San Diego Wave head coach: “Trinity Rodman is probably one of the hardest-working forwards I’ve ever seen live. Obviously she’s got pace, she’s got ability to run with the ball. But she tracks back. That woman works hard.