U.S. Soccer Legend Megan Rapinoe Injured in Final Professional Game
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San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium witnessed a bittersweet moment on Saturday night as U.S. soccer legend Megan Rapinoe suffered an injury in the third minute of her final professional soccer game against Gotham FC.
Rapinoe, known for her exceptional skills and contributions to the sport, fell unexpectedly while defending against Gotham midfielder Maitane Lopez. The incident occurred as Lopez received a pass from her own goalkeeper and attempted to advance up the field. Rapinoe intercepted Lopez and forced a backpass, but unfortunately, she planted her foot incorrectly, resulting in the fall. She immediately grabbed her right ankle or lower leg in pain.
Medical personnel rushed to Rapinoe’s aid as she remained on the field, unable to get up. After a few minutes of sitting and shedding a few tears, Rapinoe was assisted to her feet, albeit with a noticeable limp. Although a stretcher was brought out, Rapinoe bravely chose not to use it.
In Rapinoe’s absence, Bethany Balcer was substituted into the game, but all eyes remained on the soccer legend as she made her final appearance in a professional stadium. Rapinoe’s illustrious career has been marked by numerous victories both on and off the field, making her an icon in the world of soccer.
OL Reign’s Journey to the NWSL Title Match
Just last Sunday, Rapinoe extended her career by one more match when her team, OL Reign, triumphed over San Diego Wave FC with a 1-0 victory in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals. The winning goal came early in the second half courtesy of forward Veronica Latsko, who has been instrumental in OL Reign’s recent successes.
Latsko’s exceptional performance was also evident in the quarterfinal match against Angel City FC, where she secured a late-game goal, leading OL Reign to a 1-0 victory. Tonight, Rapinoe’s OL Reign will face another formidable opponent, Ali Krieger of Gotham FC, who has also announced her retirement.
As Rapinoe limped off the field, Krieger approached her with a heartfelt hug, symbolizing the mutual respect and camaraderie shared between these two U.S. Women’s National Team stalwarts.
A Farewell to a Soccer Legend
At the age of 38, Rapinoe announced her retirement plans earlier this summer, making this final professional game a poignant moment in her career. Hailing from Redding, California, Rapinoe leaves behind a remarkable legacy as one of America’s most enduring and accomplished female athletes.
Throughout her career, Rapinoe represented her country in four World Cup tournaments and four Olympic Games, earning the prestigious World Cup trophy twice in 2015 and 2019. Additionally, she proudly received gold and bronze Olympic medals in 2021 and 2012, respectively.
Megan Rapinoe’s impact on the sport of soccer and her advocacy for equality and social justice will forever be remembered. As she bids farewell to competitive soccer, fans around the world express their gratitude for her remarkable contributions to the game.