Megan Rapinoe announces retirement at the end of the year
The GIST: The No. 1 USWNT defeated No. 30 Wales 2–0 yesterday in their final international friendly before the Women’s World Cup (WWC), but legendary forward Megan Rapinoe made the biggest news, announcing her upcoming retirement on Saturday. Cue the waterworks.
The journey: This month’s WWC will be Rapinoe’s last, but she’s not hanging up her cleats Down Under. She’ll play through the end of the NWSL season with the club she’s spent her entire NWSL career with, OL Reign.
- So while there’s fortunately more to come, it’s still worth taking a look back at just a few of the standout moments from her 199 (and counting) national team appearances.
- There’s this incredible assist at the 2011 WWC, netting the first Olimpico goal (aka scoring off a corner kick) at the Olympics in 2012, and of course, winning the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2019 WWC. We could go on and on.
Zooming out: Equally impressive as Rapinoe’s dominance on the field is her leadership off it. ’Pinoe was at the forefront of the USWNT’s fight for equal pay and is a warrior for the LGBTQIA+ community, fiercely advocating for trans rights alongside her recently retired fiancée, Sue Bird.
- Rapinoe was also the first NWSL player to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem, a brave act in 2016 that immediately thrust her into the national spotlight, and later drew the ire of the then-President.
- Looking ahead, ’Pinoe’s surprise announcement gives fans the chance to enjoy her final send-off, all while knowing she’s only just begun to change the world.