Professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe has decided that she will retire from the sport after her upcoming appearance with the United States Women’s National Team in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game,” Rapinoe wrote on Twitter. “I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever, but by the look on this little girl’s face, she knew all along.”
Rapinoe gained world-wide recognition when she assisted Abby Wambach’s overtime goal to tie the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal with an aerial cross sent to the forward in the final seconds of the match versus Brazil. The USWNT then clinched victory in that match through penalty kicks.
She played in all six games in the 2011 World Cup, recording one goal and two more assists in addition to the cross mentioned above. Rapinoe went on to lead the 2015 and 2019 USWNT squards to the World Cup championships. In 2019, she refused to meet then-president Donald Trump at the White House because she didn’t support his politics. She attended the 2019 tournament with her hair dyed pink, and it looks like she has chanced to blue for her last World Cup.
On July 7, Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. from President Joe Biden at the White House.
An 11-year veteran of the National Women’s Soccer League, Rapinoe spent her entire NWSL career in Seattle. She briefly played for Olympique Lyonnais in France in 2012 and 2013, helping them win the Coup de France and league titles. She played college soccer for the Portland Pilots. She has a twin sister Rachael, who played at Portland with her.
She is engaged to retired WBNA star Sue Bird, and her memoir “One Life,” came out in 2020.