Leesburg, VA., (06/23/2021) — The Washington Spirit announced the club has signed defender Karina Rodriguez to a one-year contract with a one-year team option.
Head Coach Richie Burke had this to say about the signing: “Adding another international player to our roster was a side bonus when we signed Karina Rodrigues from UCLA. It was our intent to bring Karina on board in March when we initially discovered her, but she was encouraged to complete her college eligibility by UCLA coaches and we respected that decision. Thankfully, we had former college teammate Ashley Sanchez staying in communication with Karina, who was keen to join us once the college season ended. I’m very much looking forward to seeing her in a Spirit uniform. Welcome to the Spirit Family, Karina.”
Rodriguez joins the Spirit as a recent UCLA graduate. In 2020, the defender was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Best XI second team and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after helping UCLA to two consecutive shutouts in the 2020-2021 season. As a junior, Rodriguez was one of four players to start all 24 games and was selected to Top Drawer’s Soccer’s Preseason Best XI third team. During her entire collegiate career, Rodriguez recorded 82 starts along with a total of 85 appearances for the Bruins.
In February of 2021, Rodriguez was called up to the senior Mexican National Team for a pair of matches against Costa Rica, where she earned her first cap on February 23. Rodriguez recently received another call-up from the senior team for a training camp in Japan last month. The former Bruin was also a previous member of the U.S. U-20s Women’s National Team and competed in the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
“We’re excited that Karina has joined the Spirit family after a great career at UCLA. We look forward to her contributions as she brings international experience as a capped player for the Mexican National Team,” said Spirit Chief Soccer Officer and President of Sporting Operations Larry Best on Rodriguez.