Megan Rapinoe to retire at end of the 2023 season

Megan Rapinoe kisses the World Cup trophy
USA women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe kisses the World Cup trophy in front of the City Hall (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

USA and OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe has announced she will retire at the end of the 2023 season after an illustrious 17-year career for both club and country. The 2023 World Cup will be her last major tournament for the red, white and blue.

“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,” said Rapinoe. “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.”

Rapinoe: A legend set to retire

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Rapinoe began her career with the USWNT in 2006. Since then, the forward has tallied 199 caps and 63 career goals with 73 assists. Rapinoe is preparing to star in her fourth World Cup. She was also a part of the last two World Cup-winning teams (2015, 2019).

“Megan Rapinoe is one of the most important players in women’s soccer history and a personality like no other,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “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 may be 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.”

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Arguably the best year of the forward’s career was 2019. Rapinoe won the Best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, the Ballon d’Or, the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, the Golden Ball as the best player in the World Cup, and the Golden Boot as the top scorer with six goals. 

Along with her outstanding international career, Rapinoe has been a part of the NWSL since the beginning of the OL Reign. Rapinoe has been with OL Reign since the league began in 2013. She holds the club record for most career goals scored with 48 and assists with 25. She also ranks fourth all-time in regular season appearances with 109 for the Reign.

A leading voice on and off the pitch

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Rapinoe has won three NWSL Shields with the Reign, one NWSL Best XI selection, and five NWSL Second XI selections, tied for the third-most combined selections. She is the all-time league leader in penalty kick goals with 13 and is the sixth-most prolific NWSL player in all-time goals and assists.

Off the field, Rapinoe is a big advocate for social justice and LGBTQ+ rights. She was named one of TIME’s 2023 Women of the Year and became the first-ever soccer player to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2022.

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Rapinoe will be honored in a special celebration during OL Reign’s final home match on October 6th at Lumen Field against the Washington Spirit. More details will be announced at a later date.

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