NWSL news: Ji linked to Seattle, Portland ships Rodríguez to ACFC, Spirit name interim leader and more

In today's NWSL news, South Korean star midfielder Ji So-yun has been rumored to be joining Seattle Reign FC, Rocky Rodríguez moves to ACFC in a trade, Washington appoints its interim head coach, and more.

Chelsea Women v Manchester United Women - Barclays FA Women's Super League
Chelsea Women v Manchester United Women - Barclays FA Women's Super League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages
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NWSL news: Angel City FC deal for Portland's Rocky Rodríguez after four seasons, allocation money and funds head to Thorns

With the incoming of a big-time Canadian international on the horizon per a report, Portland Thorns FC dealt 30-year-old Costa Rican midfielder Rocky Rodríguez to Angel City FC in exchange for "$275,000 in allocation money and additional conditional funds to be paid against the transfer fee threshold." Costa Rica's No. 11 originally joined the Thorns via a trade with Sky Blue FC that included Margaret Purce and a first-round draft selection in early 2020.

“Rocky brings a high level of professionalism and presence to Angel City’s midfield and that’s combined with a tremendous amount of experience in this league and internationally as well,"
ACFC General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano said. “We’re beyond thrilled that we are able to have her join our squad.”

The 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year helped hoist five pieces of silverware including an NWSL Championship in 2022. Rodriguez appeared in 72 contests across all competitions, making 55 starts while scoring seven goals to go along with three assists. She has been in the 89th percentile or higher of all midfielders in the top nine women's competitions in the world for the past three NWSL campaigns. Defensively, she knows what it takes to make life difficult for opponents, tying Natalia Kuikka for the Thorns lead in total tackles during its 2021 Shield-winning season.

Over the last three campaigns, the Penn State product has started in 48 of the 62 games in which she competed, across all competitions. It looks like via ACFC's social media, Rodriguez will don the No. 7 kit for the L.A. outfit. She'll be an incredible asset who knows what it takes to win for a club loaded with young talent. The biggest need for the side from the City of Angels was the midfield. It's the position in which the club has the most non-roster invitees to its pre-season camp. The former No. 2 overall selection is a workhorse in the middle of the park, serving as both a central attacking midfielder and a defensive No. 6 at times during her NWSL career.