Reporting from Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California.
Megan Rapinoe’s career ended in traumatic fashion on Saturday in the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League Championship.
Rapinoe slipped just over two minutes into the match – the final professional game of her career as she plans to retire – and suffered a non-contact injury that forced her to leave the game. Forward Bethany Balcer replaced her.
Rapinoe announced earlier this year that it would be her final year playing as a professional and for the United States women’s national team. She already saw out her time with the U.S. in heartbreaking fashion at the 2023 World Cup, where she missed her kick in the penalty-shootout loss to Sweden in the Round of 16.
At the time, Rapinoe called that ending to her international career a “sick joke.”
Saturday brought more heartbreak. The game, which was expected to attract a record crowd for an NWSL Championship and a global TV audience in U.S. primetime, was billed as a showdown between Rapinoe and longtime friend and U.S. teammate Ali Krieger, who was also playing in her final match as a professional.
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