Rodriguez Heads To Gold-Medal Match In Beijing

Aug. 18, 2008

USC senior Amy Rodriguez will return to Troy with an Olympic medal. The speedy sub-turned-starter on the U.S. Olympic women's soccer team has been a spark for Team USA in a strong run in Beijing. In this morning's semifinal match against Japan, Rodriguez served up an assist on the United States' second goal of an eventual 4-2 win that secured a certain medal for Team USA as it heads into the gold-medal game against Brazil.

Already a part of USC history as a member of the Trojans' first-ever NCAA championship team, Rodriguez made a quick and decisive transition to the U.S. national team, where her speed and strength won her a place as USC's first women's soccer Olympian. She now is assured a place as USC's first soccer player to medal in an Olympic Games. To date, all of USC's 2008 medal winners have been swimmers.

In this 2008 Olympic Games, Rodriguez earned a starting spot with the United States after serving as a sub in the USA's opening loss to Norway. Since Rodriguez's inclusion in the starting lineup, Team USA has rolled to wins over Japan and New Zealand in group play, a win over Canada in the quarterfinals, and this most recent win over Japan in the semifinals. Rodriguez has accumulated a goal (vs. New Zealand) and an assist in the semifinal vs. Japan, while also putting such immense pressure on opposing defenses to help generate numerous scoring opportunities for the United States.

In the semis, Rodriguez slotted a pass to Lori Chalupny in the 44th minute, and Chalupny put away the ensuing shot to give the USA a 2-1 lead in the match. Rodriguez played 83 minutes of the match, subbing out with the United States ahead 4-1 before Japan managed a late goal in stoppage time to finish the score 4-2 as Team USA advances to the final.

The gold-medal match with Brazil is set for 6 a.m. PT on August 21.

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