Trinity Rodman has been dubbed the future of the USWNT so many times that, frankly, it’s starting to get old. The problem with being anointed is the misconception that a player has yet to reach their potential. Being “the next” anything is to exist in hypotheticals — with all the hopes, expectations, and pressures that come from that.
But watching Rodman play, either at the club level with her Washington Spirit side or on the international stage during a pair of farewell friendlies last month, it’s pretty clear: the future for Trinity Rodman is right now.
With goals in back-to-back games against South Africa and her club team making a push to finish in the top half of league play, Rodman isn’t waiting in the wings to fill a void. She’s forging her own path, leaning on her speed, agility, and attack-minded style of play to deliver the one thing every coach, squad, player, and fan want more of: goals. She’s always exhausted her opponents on both sides of the ball, trekking back to help defend, sprinting forward to infiltrate backlines with ease. Now, after a disappointing performance at the World Cup, she’s gained the confidence that should terrify any team playing against her.
When we caught up with Rodman recently, she was partnering with Marriott Bonvoy for the Marriott Bonvoy Moments One Point Moments Drop campaign, which offers members a chance to put all their travel points to good use by bidding on unique experiences, like being able to train with one of the most talented young players in women’s soccer.
Rodman walked us through the partnership, sharing some memorable travel experiences of her own. She also broke down how the national team feels different post-World Cup, gave us insight into her FYP, and revealed what she and teammate Ashley Sanchez got up to Down Under.
It felt like we saw a different look to the USWNT during those farewell games against South Africa. What was it like returning to that camp after the World Cup?
Yeah, I do feel like there was a type of freedom. I don’t know where that came from. The World Cup obviously didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but I do think it was a learning experience for everybody. It tested our new group with the younger players coming in, integrating with the veterans. I think this camp there was a lot more trust, communication, and just willingness to play for each other. And if things weren’t going right, we fixed it really fast. We leaned on each other a little bit more.
What was the atmosphere like in the locker room after that World Cup loss, especially for the younger players?
For us younger players, it was so hard to gauge where or how this World Cup was going to go just because we had no similar experience. Nothing really sets you up for what the World Cup is really like. I think being new players, it’s easy to just have an automatic connection. But going into this camp after the World Cup, I think the conversation changed more to like, this is the future. It’s us. It’s taking it game by game and not thinking about, “Oh, the next game we have to beat this team by eight goals.” I think it was more about us having joy in celebrating the little wins rather than needing to score a certain amount or needing to do this and that for the media or the fans or anything like that.
How have you dealt with adjusting back with the Washington Spirit, especially during the tail end of an NWSL season that’s been so competitive?
It’s definitely a shift. There’s a comfort level with your own club, there’s freedom of play and not worrying about minutes and the big stage, I think. Coming back to the club is always an amazing feeling, just to have the people that you’re with all year long behind you no matter what happens. I think the biggest thing is taking it game by game, fixing the little things because, at the end of the day, that’s what wins or loses games.
Were there “little things” about your game that you wanted to fix after playing in Australia and New Zealand?
Going into the World Cup, I kept reiterating the fact that I was very nervous. It’s so easy to let the pressure get to your head and to only think about what’s going to help you keep that starting spot or what’s going to keep you in the game. I don’t want to say I lost it, but during the World Cup, I think a lot of people weren’t being as true to themselves because they were scared about either coming out, messing up, or not being in a good position for the next game. That was a big reason why we didn’t do well. For me during the World Cup, I don’t think I brought what my special quality was, and I’m kind of kicking myself for that. But again, it’s a learning experience. Obviously, this past camp against South Africa, I kind of threw it all out the door and I was like, “I got here for a reason and I need to show my true qualities. I need to be the goal scorer that I am and do that.”
You travel so much as a professional athlete. What’s one moment or experience on the road that’s stayed with you?
I go back to Wembley Stadium when we played there. I don’t know what it was. In youth camp, we traveled a lot and I played in London multiple times. And I think going there again, the familiarization with that place and then it also being the biggest stadium and the most amount of people I had played in front of was so surreal. That stadium is absolutely beautiful. And I’ll never forget the moment I walked out, getting that start for that game, because I think that was a huge [moment] in my USWNT career.
What’s your favorite way to experience a new city? Are you dining out, are you hitting up a museum, or going to watch a game?
I have a problem with shopping, so if you were to ask me if I’ve been to a mall in every place that I’ve traveled, I would say yes, probably twice. I think malls are really cool. Just the scenery is cool, being able to see the different types of people and interact with them. But I also love food. I mean, who doesn’t? When we were in New Zealand … the pastries there were amazing.
TikTok dances have become your go-to celly on the field. What’s on your FYP right now?
Oh gosh, the Vampire Diaries is always on my For You Page. There are always organization videos — food organization, closet organization. I love those. And then obviously dances. I mean, those will always be on my For You Page because I’m always filming them.
EA just released EA Sports FC 24. You’re a big gamer. Are you playing yourself or someone else in the game?
I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. I’m definitely going to play, but I just feel like I can’t play as myself. I’d want to play against myself to see what she’s all about.
When you’re not critiquing your FIFA avatar, what’s your go-to game?
Oh, Fortnite, absolutely. I think all my biggest fans and all my friends know that I love Fortnite. I was just talking to somebody [about this], I was like, “If I could get myself in a Fortnite game, I would lose it.”
In World Cup interviews, you and Washington Spirit teammate Ashley Sanchez said you spent your downtime solving a crime. What can you tell us about the case?
[laughs] So one of our massage therapists had an emotional support ducky that she traveled with. This sounds so stupid. It was a half duck, half banana, and it was her thing that she got at camp and she brought it to practice. She stood it up on the cooler, she brought it to meals, everything, and our security guards decided they wanted to steal it. They were sending cryptic messages of the banana duck in random locations saying, “We have your duck,” all this stuff. And me, Kelley O’Hara, Ashley Sanchez, and Alyssa Thompson, were doing the most to find this duck. We got to the bottom of it.