July 8, 2010
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By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - As the 2010 FIFA World Cup is about to conclude, countries from around the world are also looking forward to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. And junior Andrea Rodrigues is representing UCF in the qualifying stage as she is competing for the Portugal National Team this summer.
A midfielder for the Knights, Rodrigues earned her first cap when she played 32 minutes in Portugal's 1-0 win over Slovenia June 23. Portugal owns a 3-4-0 record and is part of Group 7 with Italy, Finland, Slovenia and Armenia as part of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA). Countries are currently hoping to qualify for next year's World Cup with the first stage of UEFA qualifying set to end Aug. 25.
Rodrigues has traveled across the globe to play the sport she loves, as she spent time in Brazil's Under-19 National Team Camp last summer, and then in Brazil's Under-20 National Team Camp May 25-June 6 this year. She owns passports for Portugal, Brazil and the United States.
"My parents were born in Brazil, and my paternal family was born in Portugal. That's why I speak Portuguese, but with a little of an accent," said Rodrigues in the Portuguese newspaper The Record. "I have three passports, therefore I could opt to represent Portugal, Brazil or the United States. I chose Portugal."
Rodrigues fell to the injury bug for the Knights last year and competed in just three matches. But she has seen time in 16 matches overall in two years in a Black and Gold uniform, tallying two goals and six points.
UCF now has two players on its roster who have participated at the highest level for their countries, as junior goalkeeper Aline Reis spent time in the Brazil National Team camp in 2009. Meanwhile, UCF head coach Amanda Cromwell was a member of the United States National Team from 1991-98.