CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League announced Thursday that Washington Spirit forward Trinity Rodman was named the National Women’s Soccer League rookie of the year.

After becoming the youngest player to be drafted in the NWSL, chosen by the Spirit with the second overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, Rodman went on to enjoy a standout first campaign.

She recorded six goals, six assists and two game-winning scores The Newport Beach, Calif. native also created 35 scoring opportunities and finished with 29 shots on target.

Rodman secured her place in the league record book early, becoming the youngest American player to score a goal in an NWSL debut when she got on the scoresheet in a 3-2 loss to the North Carolina Courage during the 2021 Challenge Cup on April 10.

After a Challenge Cup that included an assist on the game-winning goal in the Spirit’s 1-0 win over Louisville, Rodman made an instant impact, earning a starting spot in her regular-season debut on May 16. The striker finished out the month with a game-tying assist in Washington’s 2-1 win over the Houston Dash on May 26.


Rodman enjoyed a productive month throughout June, scoring in Washington’s June 19 contest against the Chicago Red Stars before registering an assist and the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win over the Kansas City Current the following week.

After closing out the first half of the regular season with a goal against NJ/NY Gotham FC on July 18, Rodman turned on the jets for the second portion, scoring three goals and adding three assists in the final three months. The forward began the stretch Aug. 1 with a goal against Chicago before setting up the game-winning score for the Spirit in a 2-1 victory over the Orlando Pride on Aug. 22.

Rodman put on another show in October, scoring two goals and recording two assists on Oct. 9 to help secure a 3-0 win over Louisville. Rodman’s goal against the Dash on Halloween was the game-winner in a victory that secured the No. 3 seed in the 2021 NWSL Playoffs for the Spirit.

Racing Louisville FC defender Emily Fox and Kansas City Current midfielder Victoria Pickett finished second and third in voting. The list of finalists was decided after a preliminary round of voting by owners, general managers, coaches, players and media. The finalists were then voted on by fans, owners, general managers, coaches, players and media.

Voting Breakdown

Preliminary Round: Players (50%), Owners/GMs/Coaches (25%) and Media (25%)
Final Round: Players (50%), Owners/GMs/Coaches (20%), Media (20%) and Fans (10%)

Full list of NWSL Rookies of the Year

2013: Erika Tymrak, FC Kansas City
2014: Julie Ertz (Johnston), Chicago Red Stars
2015: Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars
2016: Raquel Rodriguez, NJ/NY Gotham FC
2017: Ashley Hatch, North Carolina Courage
2018: Imani Dorsey, NJ/NY Gotham FC
2019: Bethany Balcer, OL Reign
2021: Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at