Megan Rapinoe Announces Retirement After NWSL Season

Megan Rapinoe, renowned star of the USWNT, has announced that she will retire after the current NWSL season, leaving behind a remarkable legacy. As the team prepares to defend their World Cup title in New Zealand, Rapinoe revealed her decision to reporters, expressing a profound sense of peace, gratitude, and excitement.

With accolades such as the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from the 2019 World Cup under her belt, Rapinoe’s impact goes beyond statistics. Throughout her 17-year career with the USWNT, she has scored 63 goals and provided 73 assists. However, her true legacy lies in her fearless advocacy for marginalized groups, her openness about her own identity as an openly gay athlete, and her unwavering commitment to equality, social justice, and inclusion. Rapinoe’s influence has made her the face of the USWNT for the past four years, a role she wholeheartedly embraced.

“Our mission is to keep evolving and progressing, to create space not only for ourselves but for others as well. By using our voices and leveraging sport, we have the power to change the world,” Megan Rapinoe emphasized. Her dedication to making a positive impact led to her receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden, who commended her as a champion for dignity and respect.

Rapinoe’s retirement announcement comes shortly after her fiancée, basketball legend Sue Bird, concluded her illustrious career with the Seattle Storm. Rapinoe playfully mentioned that she was inspired by Bird’s retirement and felt compelled to share her own decision with the world. Reflecting on the timing, she admitted that the thought of retiring has occupied her mind since the final whistle blew in Lyon at the 2019 World Cup. Although she experienced internal struggles, Megan Rapinoe remains focused on her final World Cup and is as excited about her remaining time on the field as she is about the prospect of retirement.

While recognizing the rarity of athletes being able to retire on their own terms, Megan Rapinoe is grateful for the trust of her team and the longevity of her career. As she gears up for the 2023 tournament, she embraces her new role as the veteran of the group, ready to contribute her expertise from the bench. With a touch of humor, Alex Morgan highlighted the age range within the team, jokingly referring to it as “18 to Pinoe.”

To mark her 200th appearance for the USWNT, Megan Rapinoe will take the field on Sunday during the team’s send-off game against Wales in San Jose. This location holds significance for Rapinoe, as it is close to her hometown of Redding, California, where she first honed her skills. Playing in front of a home crowd, she cherishes the opportunity to end her career in a place that feels like a second home.

Megan Rapinoe’s retirement announcement signifies the end of an era for women’s soccer, but her impact and influence will endure. Her journey as an athlete, an advocate, and a role model has left an indelible mark, inspiring generations to come. As Megan Rapinoe takes her final steps on the field, her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place through sport will continue to shine brightly.

Also Read: Kobe Bryant Chosen as Cover Athlete for NBA 2K24: Celebrating a Basketball Legend’s Legacy

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