Megan Rapinoe

Achieving legendary status in sports comes in many forms. It could be the impact an athlete had on the field: the goals scored, the iconic celebrations, or their sheer technical ability. It could be the impact they had out of uniform: speaking out for what they believe in, advocating for their community, or even serving the best fashion on the sidelines. But Megan Rapinoe didn’t pick just one of these categories to write under her name in the history books, instead, she just decided to excel in them all. Longtime United States Women’s National Team striker Megan Rapinoe retired in 2023 after the conclusion of the NWSL season in November, and without her name on rosters anymore, the world of soccer will never quite be the same. Rapinoe is a worldwide household name, a player whose fame rises outside of the sports world due to her expert use of her platform. Rapinoe spent seventeen years with the USWNT, leading them through some of their highest highs and lowest lows with an authentic and powerful voice. When she announced her retirement in 2023, messages of support from players all around the world poured in to celebrate her historic career. Though her bold statements often garnered their fair share of both praise and criticism, Rapinoe never once wavered from who she was, and she earned the respect of her teammates and her opponents with her unwavering morals. She’s always been simply just who she is, a genuine person and a stellar athlete, hoping that her being her authentic self would inspire others to be able to do so. A fact that she emphasized in her retirement speech, reminding the fans that the team “...fought so hard off the field to continue to create more space for ourselves to be who we are, but hopefully in turn more space for you guys to be who you are,” an effort that Rapinoe was often leading the charge on.
- Oliver Hunt
FanSided Contributor

By the numbers

After her 203 caps with the United States, Megan Rapinoe boasts a resume of accomplishments that rival all those who play the beautiful game. She’s a Ballon d'Or Féminin winner, a World Cup Golden Ball winner, a World Cup Golden Boot Winner, a Two Time World Cup champion, an Olympic Gold medalist, and a THREE-time NWSL Shield winner. She holds the record for the most goals for her club team, with 47 goals scored during her ten years in Seattle. She’s currently the only player (man or woman) to have ever scored an Olympico at the Olympic Games, which is a corner kick that goes directly into the goal.

What we’ll remember a decade from now

She’s swagger, she’s confidence, she’s an absolute baller. There’s no one else in the global game who can compare to the incredible impact that Megan Rapinoe has had and will continue to have long into the future. A decade from now, the seeds that Rapinoe has planted during her career will continue to blossom even in her retirement. She spoke many times about trying to leave the team better than she found it, which she undoubtedly achieved. She spent her time while wearing the crest fighting for equal pay, speaking out for trans athletes, and promoting LGBTQ visibility at the highest possible level. As her incredible Nike ad put it: She’s Megan Rapinoe, an All-American hero.