Megan Rapinoe’s playing career came to an unceremonious end on Saturday. The USWNT legend left the final top flight game with OL Reign after just three minutes, felled by a leg injury.
The 38-year old crumbled to the turf after attempting to press an incoming NJ/NY Gotham FC defender. She burst into tears shortly thereafter, resting on the ground for a moment before being helped to the sideline. The Snapdragon Stadium concourses erupted into a standing ovation as she left the pitch.
Rapinoe’s status as a world soccer icon was cemented long before she departed the field. The two-time World Cup winner strung together 203 appearances with the Stars and Stripes, bagging 63 goals across the course of her 17-year tenure with the national side.
Here’s the latest on Rapinoe’s health as she rides off into the sunset of retirement.
The Reign were dealt a serious blow to their title hopes when Rapinoe departed the action in the game’s sixth minute. According to The Athletic’s Meg Linehan, Rapinoe seemed to have gestured at teammate Rose Lavelle that the injury was to her Achilles tendon.
Rapinoe exited the game to warm applause. Bethany Balcer took her place in the left wing. Per USA Today’s Nancy Armour, Rapinoe returned to the sidelines with crutches at the start of the second half.
Rapinoe’s final season proved a prolific one. Although she wasn’t all that involved in the U.S.’s World Cup efforts, her club showcases were inspired; Rapinoe scored four goals and had five assists in 15 appearances with the Reign in 2023.