Megan Rapinoe : A Farewell to an American Soccer Icon

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Megan Rapinoe Farewell Match

A Glorious Exit for a Football Legend

Megan Rapinoe, the iconic American soccer star, celebrated her final match with the U.S. national team in grand style. On a memorable Sunday in Chicago, the U.S. team clinched a 2-0 victory against South Africa in a friendly match. This victory was not just a testament to the team’s prowess but also a fitting tribute to Rapinoe’s illustrious career with the national team.

A Career Spanning Over 17 Years

At the age of 38, Rapinoe’s contribution to the match was palpable. She was credited with an assist from a corner kick, and in the 54th minute, she exited the field, marking the end of a remarkable international career that spanned over 17 years. During this period, she played 203 matches and netted 63 goals, an impressive record by any standard.

Achievements and Accolades

Rapinoe’s journey in football is adorned with numerous accolades. She is an Olympic champion and a two-time World Cup winner. Her achievements include winning the Olympic tournament at the London Games in 2012 and securing the FIFA World Cup in both 2015 and 2019. Beyond her on-field accomplishments, Rapinoe has been a vocal advocate for various social causes, making her a global figure in the world of women’s football.

An Advocate Off the Field

Rapinoe’s influence extends beyond the soccer pitch. She has been a staunch advocate for LGBT+ rights, having come out in 2012. Her activism also includes protesting against police violence towards Black individuals by taking a knee during the American national anthem in 2016, a gesture that later became a global symbol. Furthermore, she championed the cause of equal pay, fighting alongside her teammates for salary parity between male and female players in Team USA.

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In her own words, the impact of her off-field activities has been “far more significant” than her football successes. She believes that she played a part in highlighting issues like LGBT+ rights, racial justice, and transgender rights within the realm of sports, especially women’s sports.

A Standing Ovation for an Icon

During her final match, when Rapinoe was substituted in the 54th minute, just five minutes after her decisive assist to midfielder Emily Sonnett, she was met with a standing ovation. Her teammates embraced her, and the U.S. Soccer Federation paid tribute to her on social media, describing her as a “Pioneer. Icon. Inspiration.” They thanked her for making “this sport, this country, and this world a little better.”

In conclusion, Megan Rapinoe’s farewell from the U.S. national team is not just the end of an era in soccer but also a celebration of a player who has left an indelible mark both on and off the field. Her legacy will undoubtedly inspire future generations of players and activists alike.

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