Megan Rapinoe's soccer career ends in heartbreaking fashion

Megan Rapinoe's last game in the NWSL ended with an injury that forced her out of the championship game.

OL Reign v NJ/NY Gotham FC - 2023 NWSL Championship
OL Reign v NJ/NY Gotham FC - 2023 NWSL Championship / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

On Saturday night the NWSL 2023 season came to a close. The hard work from the athletes of the OL Reign and NY/NJ Gotham culminated in an action-packed game that came down to the very last seconds.

The marquee event was set to showcase the careers of two longtime legends of the sport, Megan Rapinoe of the OL Reign and Ali Krieger of Gotham. Many were looking forward to seeing these two USWNT teammates going head-to-head one last time, but nfortunately, Rapinoe was forced out of the game in the opening minutes with an injury.

Rapinoe came into the game knowing it was her last and with hopes of finally bringing home one of the only championship trophies in the sport that she had yet to achieve, an NWSL championship. The game began and it looked as if the OL Reign team was meshing well. They were moving the ball well and Rapinoe had a few key touches. At about three minutes in Rapinoe went down.

The injury seemed to come out of nowhere as it was non-contact. Rapinoe seemed to have slipped on the field and came up holding her ankle. Right away the training staff ran to her side and she was noticeably upset. She shook her head with that well-known Rapinoe smirk as if to say, "I can't believe this." She was helped off the field where she was met by her longtime friend and adversary on that night Krieger.

Rapinoe was helped to the sideline where she stayed for the rest of the game. She continued to cheer on her team from the side and even got in on the celebration on the back of a teammate. After halftime, she showed up in a walking boot. Following the loss, she spoke with reporters about the injury.

"It felt like just a huge pop," Rapinoe said via ESPN. "The worst possible outcome. I just thank God I have like a f---ing deep well sense of humor. But yeah, I mean, just obviously devastating to go out in the final so early."

The 38-year-old announced her retirement from the U.S. Women's National team prior to the team's early exit in this year's World Cup. She returned to her team the OL Reign to finish off the regular season and head to playoffs. Unfortunately, Rapinoe's storied career did not get its fairytale ending.