USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe announces retirement at end of season

United States forward Megan Rapinoe announced Saturday that she will be retiring at the end of the season.

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USA Soccer said that Rapinoe, 38, announced that she will retire from professional soccer at the end of the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League season.

Rapinoe made the announcement on Twitter, according to The Associated Press. She said she is “with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game.”

Rapinoe is an Olympic gold medalist and a two-time World Cup champion, according to the AP.

Rapinoe is expected to compete in her fourth World Cup on July 20, according to ESPN. The World Cup will be taking place in Australia and New Zealand, according to USA Soccer.

Known for her amazing talents on the field, her creative goal scoring, her clutch performances in some of the biggest matches of her career, as well as for her deep caring and support for a myriad of social issues including LGBTQ+ rights, racial inequality, voter rights, and gender and pay equity, she leaves the game as one of the most impactful figures in the history of soccer in the United States and in the global women’s game,” said USA Soccer.

Rapinoe’s career began in July 2006 just a few weeks after she turned 21 years old, USA Soccer said. She debuted in a match against the Republic of Ireland in San Diego. She scored her first international goals on Oct. 1, 2006.

Rapinoe currently has 199 caps over a span of 17 years playing for team USA. Eventually, she will make history by becoming the 14th U.S. player to reach 200 caps, USA Soccer said.

“I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people,” said Rapinoe in a statement to USA Soccer. “I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to be as successful as we’ve been, and to have been a part of a generation of players who undoubtedly left the game better than they found it. To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.”