Two-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe has announced that she would retire from the National Women’s Soccer League at the end of the current season. She’ll make her final international appearance for the United States at the Women’s World Cup.
The 38-year-old Rapinoe stated that she made the decision to retire from the sport in advance of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to assist keep the US Women’s National Team’s attention on the ultimate goal of defending their title. She hoped that by making the decision public, they wouldn’t have to spend time fielding queries about whether or not she would return for another season. Rapinoe said she also preferred making the announcement on her “own terms,” so she took to social media to do it.
The two-time World Cup winner has been active in the professional soccer scene since 2006. Many sports commentators attribute her 17 years with the team as one of the main reasons the United States Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup. During her tenure with the USWNT, the team won 86% of their games. By the time she retires, Rapinoe will have played in over 200 international games for the United States, making her one of only 14 players in history to do so.
Since 2019, when she led the United States to victory at the Women’s World Cup and frequently spoke out against President Donald Trump, Rapinoe has been a lefty favorite. She has also drawn attention to other concerns, such as the gender pay disparity between male and female athletes, which resulted in a collective bargaining agreement between the men’s and women’s soccer teams to pay them “identical” rates. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden in 2022. Rapinoe breaks new ground by being the first soccer player to win the honor.
After 17 years in the league, Rapinoe has expressed her enthusiasm for mentoring the next generation of talented female soccer players.