Rocky Rodríguez signs new contract with Portland Thorns

After another season establishing herself as a veteran leader and tone-setter in the midfield, Raquel “Rocky” Rodríguez signed a new contract with the Portland Thorns on Tuesday, the team announced.

The deal would keep Rodríguez in Portland through 2025. She was acquired via trade in 2020 and was out of contract following the 2022 season.

“I’ve always wanted to play in one of the best clubs in the world, with the best players in the world, and against the best players in the world,” Rodríguez told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “I’ve found that in Portland. The club has always been competitive, and I have no reason to leave as far as personal goals or anything like that. I’ve found what I’ve wanted for many years in the Thorns. For that reason, I decided to stay. I can still grow, and I feel valued.

“Portland has become my home away from home. I’m comfortable now and know the area, even though I’m very much a home body. But Portland, I love this city. I love how much character it has. I love how involved the fans are, too, and everything Portland represents as far as my job.”

Rodríguez, 29, played in 19 matches (15 starts) this season for Portland, and continued leading the Costa Rican women’s national team as well. She scored three goals this season for the Thorns, including a world-class strike off the volley in a 2-1 win over the San Diego Wave in the NWSL semifinals. Her grit, tenacity and ability to connect play made her a crucial presence for the Thorns as they charged toward another 2022 NWSL championship.

“I give credit to the way I learned soccer,” Rodríguez said of her play style. “I grew up playing soccer in really tight spaces. My dad taught me the technique and the basics like passing, shooting, all the things you need to know. But I played in school and in my neighborhood, and there’s no rules and a lot of people playing. That’s where my playing style started. I consider myself a strong player in a sense, and that’s the beauty of soccer is everyone can find their play style and not have to fit into a box or be cut a certain way.”

Rodríguez is a self-described “low key” person and a homebody, spending her free time outside of soccer exploring her passions.

“I enjoy studying the bible,” Rodríguez said. “I enjoy doing that and try doing that as much as I can. I also like watching movies and shows and playing the piano which is a hobby that I’ve loved. I also love food. That’s a big reason why I love Portland is we have so many local businesses with fresh and different food. You can never go wrong with Thai food. Because of (Meghan Klingenberg), I’ve tried a lot of great vegan food as well, even though I’m not a vegan.”

The NWSL championship was particularly special for Rodríguez because her parents traveled from Costa Rica to Washington, D.C., to watch their daughter and the Thorns capture the club’s third title. As she chased a title during her years in Portland, Rodríguez said she learned bits and pieces from a variety of teammates, who served as her biggest inspiration.

“I am someone who tries to learn from everybody,” Rodríguez said. “I can learn from Crystal (Dunn) a lot of things, and I admire her so much. I learn from (Klingenberg), I learn from Becky (Sauerbrunn), honestly from every single one of my teammates. I have the luxury to have amazing, elite-level teammates. I admire different things from different players. Even from my national team teammates as well. That’s a blessing and a luxury. I just take what I want to keep from different people.”

— Ryan Clarke,, Twitter: @RyanTClarke

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