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Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit agree to new long-term contract

The NWSL Rookie of the Year has signed a three-year deal with the champs

Nikita Taparia

Trinity Rodman will be with the Washington Spirit for a while longer. The 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year has signed a new contract with the defending champions that will see her playing for the Spirit through 2024, with an option year for 2025.

The Spirit did not announce further terms, but the Washington Post’s Steven Goff is reporting that Rodman’s deal is worth over $1 million all told, making it the most lucrative contract in the league. Rodman’s original rookie deal expired at the end of the 2023 season, but Washington will now have more certainty to build around a player who made the league’s Best XI in her first professional season. Notably, last August the Spirit signed attacking midfielder Ashley Sanchez to a contract that runs for the same length of time, a clear sign that the club wants to plan for long-term success around their two young attackers.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Trin as a part of the Spirit family for at least the next three seasons. She has a truly special career ahead of her and makes us a better club on all fronts,” said Spirit head coach Kris Ward in a team press release.

Added club president Ben Olsen, “We’re excited to re-sign Trinity and continue to support her development as a player. She has accomplished a great deal early in her career and our focus is to provide the right environment for her to reach her potential.”

Rodman, 19, opted to enter the NWSL draft rather than play collegiate soccer after the NCAA season was altered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Washington selected her 2nd overall in the 2021 draft, and despite her inexperience, she hit the ground running. Rodman had a goal and an assist in the Challenge Cup, and then put up 6 goals and 5 assists during the course of the regular season.

That included being directly involved in numerous crucial goals: she set up the equalizer and then scored a 95th minute winner in a late 2-1 comeback win over Kansas City, and assisted Sanchez’s 89th minute match-winner in a 2-1 victory over Orlando. With Washington’s playoff aspirations hanging in the balance, Rodman had 2 goals and 2 assists in October, including the game’s only goal in the regular season finale against Houston and a game-winning assist in a 3-0 rout of Louisville.

In the postseason, Rodman remained pivotal. Ashley Hatch’s dramatic extra-time winner against North Carolina came on a rebound from a Rodman shot, and in the semifinal her 12th minute goal stabilized Washington after they were rocked by an early goal against an OL Reign team that had jumped all over the Spirit. Finally, and most famously, Rodman’s long cross from the left picked out Kelley O’Hara in extra time of the final, giving the club their first-ever trophy.

That combination of being prolific and coming up with big plays in critical moments left little doubt about Rodman’s ability to produce at the next level, and she recently concluded her first senior USWNT camp. While Vlatko Andonovski’s plans for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup and this summer’s World Cup qualifying tournament aren’t clear, Rodman’s play has given him every reason to consider her as not just a future prospect, but someone in contention for regular minutes right now.

The Spirit have moved deliberately towards keeping the core of their lineup together long-term. Aside from Rodman and Sanchez, in December they signed Hatch — after a Golden Boot-winning season — to a contract that runs through at least 2023. NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Aubrey Kingsbury and USWNT regulars Emily Sonnett and Andi Sullivan are all on deals that run through the end of 2023, while three other projected starters (Dorian Bailey, Tara McKeown, and Sam Staab) are on deals that include club-held options for 2023. That’s a status shared by several other players who will be pushing for starting time this year as well, including Taylor Aylmer, Jordan Baggett, Bayley Feist, and Anna Heilferty.