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Megan Rapinoe announces retirement from pro, international soccer after 2023 season

The legendary USWNT and NWSL striker is hanging up her boots after the 2023 season, she announced on Saturday

© Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY

Megan Rapinoe is getting ready to hang up her soccer boots. The veteran striker and two-time U.S. women’s national team World Cup winner has announced that she will retire from professional and international soccer at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Rapinoe broke the news during MD-1 media availability in San Jose, California, ahead of the U.S. send off match against Wales, which will be played on July 9. The 38-year-old is currently with the U.S. team as they prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“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,” Rapinoe said. “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.

“I want to thank my family for being by my side all these years. Thanks to all my teammates and coaches all the way back to my first days in Redding, on to college at the University of Portland and of course thanks to U.S. Soccer, the Seattle Reign and especially Sue, for everything. I will forever cherish the friendships and support over the years in this game, and I am beyond excited for one last ride with the National Team and the Reign.”

Born and raised in Redding, California, Rapinoe began her professional career in 2009 with the Chicago Red Stars. She then joined the Philadelphia Independence of the former WPS, and also played for MagicJack in the former league. In 2012, she joined the Seattle Sounders Women, marking the beginning of a decade in the Emerald City. She has featured for OL Reign (formerly known as the Seattle Reign) since 2013, making over 100 National Women’s Soccer League appearances.

In a U.S. shirt, Rapinoe is gearing up to make her 200th appearance against Wales, as she currently sits at 199. She made her debut in July 2006 against the Republic of Ireland, and has since won two World Cup titles (2015 and 2019), and a gold and bronze medal, respectively, in the 2012 London and 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. She was also on the U.S. team that won silver in the 2011 FIFA World Cup.

In the NWSL, she helped the Reign win the NWSL Shield three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2022. She has been named to the NWSL Second XI five times, and the Best XI in 2018.

In 2019, Rapinoe was named FIFA’s The Best Women’s Player in 2019, and won the Ballon d’Or Féminin in 2019. In the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot, scoring six goals.

Rapinoe’s club team, OL Reign, said they will have a “Forever Reign: A Celebration of Megan Rapinoe” at a later date. Her final regular-season match will be against the Washington Spirit on October 6. Currently, OL Reign sits in third place.

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