Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, popularly known as ‘Rocky’, joins Glory's Westfield W-League squad following a season spent at Sky Blue FC playing alongside our very own Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton in the US National Women’s Soccer League.
The 23-year-old midfielder was born in San José, Costa Rica where her father played professionally with Club Sport Herediano and also represented the national team.
And from a very young age, she was keen to follow in her father’s footsteps.
“I knew I wanted to seriously play football at age 7,” she said, “and my dad was a huge influence in my choice of playing. He was very supportive and would always encourage me.”
Despite the challenges posed by limited training opportunities and a lack of support for women’s football in Costa Rica at the time, Rodríguez retained her deep desire to play the game in packed-out stadia and never lost her dream of one day becoming a household name.
“I had dreams that I wanted to chase, but when I would look at the reality of women’s football in Costa Rica, I would feel anger towards the whole situation,” she recalled. “It wasn’t easy.”
Remarkably, she was asked to train with the Costa Rican national team aged just 11, a move which paved the way for her to fulfill her childhood dream.
Rodríguez went on to attend an American school, International Christian School in Heredia and subsequently enjoyed a successful college career at Penn State, where she became team captain in 2015 and led her side to victory at the NCAA College Cup, scoring the goal which ultimately clinched the trophy.
More glory was to follow for ‘Rocky’ who starred for Costa Rica at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and created history by scoring her country’s first ever goal at the tournament in a 1-1 group stage draw with Spain.
“When I look back, I feel proud of being a professional football player,” she said.
“Worldwide, women’s football still has so much ground to cover in many areas and the fact that I am part of a generation that keeps breaking ground for future generations makes the frustrations, the highs and lows, all worth it.”
In her first season at Sky Blue FC, meanwhile, her impressive, all-action displays led to her taking out the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year award and she then added to her long list achievements in June this year by scoring the fastest goal in NWSL history after just 24 seconds.
Glory fans will be hoping that Rodriguez makes a similarly spectacular start to her Westfield W-League career and the gifted import can’t wait to get into the action.
“I am very excited to be part of Perth Glory this season,” she said.
“I am looking forward to learning from a new culture, teammates, and style of play.”
The new Westfield W-League campaign kicks off at nib Stadium on October 27th when Glory face Melbourne City in an eagerly-anticipated re-match of last season’s Grand Final.
And you can secure your bargain Glory W-League membership by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2xtp1LY