USWNT great Megan Rapinoe to retire after 2023 World Cup, NWSL season

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Megan Rapinoe USWNT
FILE – In this July 7, 2019 file photo, United States’ Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the Women’s World Cup final soccer match against The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Megan Rapinoe, one of the greatest to ever play for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), announced that she will retire following the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.

The Women’s World Cup, which begins on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand, will be her final major tournament with the USWNT before completing her playing career with her long-time club, OL Reign of the NWSL.

“I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people,” a statement from Rapinoe read. “I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to be as successful as we’ve been, and to have been a 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.”

The 38-year-old is a two-time World Cup winner and an Olympic gold medalist, recording 63 goals and 73 assists across 199 career caps with USWNT. At the 2023 Women’s World Cup, she will become just the 14th player in team history to record 200 appearances. 

With Rapinoe in its ranks, the US has been practically unbeatable, holding an overall record of 157-14-28.

US Soccer
Soccer player Megan Rapinoe waves to the crowd during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Seattle. Rapinoe’s fiancee, Sue Bird, plays for the Storm.Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP

More important than her playing career was her staunch activism — using her platform to speak out on numerous issues including LGBTQ+ rights, racial inequality, voter rights, and gender and pay equity.

“Megan Rapinoe is one of the most important players in women’s soccer history and a personality like no other,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She has produced so many memorable moments for her team and the fans on the field that will be remembered for a very long time, but her impact on people as a human being maybe even more important.

“It’s been a wonderful experience to coach her in the NWSL and for the National Team and I’m looking forward to her being an important part of our team at the World Cup.”

For more on Megan Rapinoe and the USWNT, visit AMNY.com