Megan Rapinoe to retire, play in final World Cup for American soccer

This would be the last ride for Megan Rapinoe.

The USWNT superstar and women’s soccer icon announced on Saturday that she will retire after the 2023 NWSL season and that the 2023 World Cup will be her last.

“I have been able to have such an amazing career and this sport has taken me all over the world and given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people,” Rapinoe said in a statement released by US Soccer.

“I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to have been as successful as we have been, and to be part of a generation of players who undoubtedly left the game better than they found it.

“To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.

“I want to thank my family for being with me for so many years. Thank you to all my teammates and coaches from my first days in Redding to college at the University of Portland and of course to US Soccer, the Seattle Reign and especially Sue. [Bird] for everything.

“I will always cherish the friendship and support I have had over the years in this sport and I am extremely excited for one last ride with the national team and the Reign.”

The NWSL regular season ends in October.

Megan Rapinoe announced that she will play her final World Cup this summer before retirement.
AFP via Getty Images

The United States’ World Cup opener against Vietnam will likely be Rapinoe’s 200th international cap, making her the 14th player in the country’s history to do so.

The 38-year-old has a chance to create more history in Australia and New Zealand as she seeks to lead the US to its third consecutive World Cup title.

Rapinoe won the 2019 Ballon d’Or Féminine as the best female soccer player in the world after scoring six goals in five matches at the World Cup.

US soccer star Megan Rapinoe will retire at the end of the NWSL season.
Getty Images

She is also known for being politically outspoken, becoming the first white and female athlete to kneel during the national anthem since Colin Kaepernick started the protest in 2016.

Rapinoe came out as gay in July 2012 and was a key figure in the USWNT’s successful fight for equal pay.

The Redding, California native will probably retire as the most famous player in USWNT history.

“Megan Rapinoe is one of the most important players in women’s soccer history and her personality is no different from any other,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement.

“He created many memorable moments on the field for his team and fans that will be remembered for a very long time, but his impact on people as a human being may be even more important.

“It has been a wonderful experience coaching him for the NWSL and the national team and I look forward to him being an important part of our team at the World Cup.”

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