"I want to make an impact on the team. I wasn't able to do that last year [with Boston]. My goal is to be the offensive threat that I couldn't be with the Breakers," Rodriguez said.
In acquiring Rodriguez, the Independence gave up two first-round draft choices, including the No. 2 overall pick. As a result, the team's first selection today will be in the second round, the 13th pick overall; the Independence have five selections.
"We think she has a lot of potential," Independence general manager Terry Foley said of Rodriguez. "She was the No. 1 pick in the draft last year. We know she had a disappointing season last year, but we think she is someone we could develop and depend on."
Rodriguez joins a Philadelphia fan favorite, defender Heather Mitts, on the Independence roster. Mitts played three seasons for the Philadelphia Charge in the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association, and is engaged to former Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley, making her selection to the team easy for Foley.
"It was a no-brainer [selecting Mitts]. She is a national team player with strong ties to Philadelphia," Foley said.
Other notables on the team include Caroline Seger, a midfielder from Sweden, and English forward Lianne Sanderson, both acquired in the 2009 international draft. Lori Lindsey, a midfielder, is the only other member of the women's national team on the roster.
The Independence will play their home games at John A. Farrell Stadium at West Chester University and open their inaugural season on April 11 at home against Boston.
Today's draft is being held in Philadelphia as part of this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention. The draft is open to the public, as is a round-table discussion before the selections.
The discussion begins at 9 a.m., and will feature coaching notables, such as former women's national team coach Tony DiCicco and current University of North Carolina women's coach Anson Dorrance. Topics to be covered include the future of the nine-team WPS.
"The convention is a great opportunity to get the message out that we're here," Foley said. "It can really raise awareness and build excitement. We really are lucky that the convention is in Philly this year."