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U.S. Women

A-Rod on A-Rod

There are some pretty good nicknames on the U.S. Women’s National Team (the Buehldozer comes immediately to mind), but perhaps the most prevalent is Amy Rodriguez’ nom de guerre: A-Rod.

When people on the U.S. WNT say “Amy,” 99.9 percent of the time they are addressing defender Amy LePeilbet. To the U.S. team, staff and coaches, Amy Rodriguez is A-Rod.

The nickname started when she played with the U.S. Under-17s Women’s National Team in 2004, and as she worked her way from the U.S. U-17s to the U-19s to the U-21s to the full WNT over the course of a year, the nickname came with her.

“Once it started, I was just introduced to everyone on each team as I moved up in age groups as A-Rod,” said A-Rod. “By the time I got to the national team, no one was saying Amy anymore.”

But wait a minute? No one called her A-Rod until she was 16? There’s a plausible reason for that.

“I like my nickname a lot, but growing up, A-Rod was my brother Adam’s nickname and he was a baseball player, so it fit,” said Rodriguez. “Also, all of the kids, my family and my cousins, on my dad’s side of the family are all a bunch of A-Rod’s: Alisa, Amy, Adam, Alex, Ashley and Amanda.”

Because there are so many other potential A-Rod’s in her extended family, to this day, no one in her family calls her A-Rod. Nor does her fiancé Adam Shilling. A-Rod is strictly her soccer name and it seems to fit her personality and style of play perfectly. It’s also easy to say quickly on the field.

After six kids in her family were given names that started with A, including her and her brother, when her younger sister was born she thought it would continue.

At the age of eight, when she walked into the hospital to see her new baby sister, she asked her mom, “Is this Ali?”

“No,” said her Mom, “this is Lauren.”

Thus was born into this world – L-Rod – who goes by that nickname today. In fact, if you call the Rodriguez residence in Lake Forest, Calif., looking for Amy and her little sister answers, you may have this conversation:

“Is this A-Rod?”
“Nope, this is L-Rod. Wait, I’ll get her.”

Rodriguez has never met any other famous A-Rods, but would love to one day meet Alex Rodriguez or Andy Roddick. She admits to not knowing what her greeting would be.

“Hi A-Rod! I’m A-Rod!”

Rodriguez is getting married on Oct. 8 in San Clemente, Calif. to Shilling, her college sweetheart, but she won’t be known as “A-Shill.” She’s still going to rock the Rodriguez on the back of her soccer jersey and that will be enough to qualify her for a lifetime membership in what her family back in Orange County likes to call -- you guessed it -- the “Rod Squad.”