Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe reflects on her USWNT career

Rapinoe held her final national team press conference on Saturday

USWNT Training

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 23: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States talks to the media at a press conference after a USWNT training at U.S. Soccer Headquarters on September 23, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Megan Rapinoe will play her final match with the USWNT on Sunday in a friendly match against South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago.

On Saturday, Rapinoe met with the media where she fielded a number of questions about her time with the national team.

Rapinoe had her fair share of accomplishments on and off the field with the USWNT and was asked what she was most proud of.

“By a mile what we’ve done off the field,” Rapinoe said. “I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve done on the field. Obviously we’ve been a really special generation of players. But I think it says a lot about us that everything on the field kind of pales in comparison to what we’ve achieved off the field and where we’ve chosen to throw our weight in the way that we have used what is our greatest gift in all of our talent: to try to make the world a better place and try to leave the game in a much better place than we found it.”

As an openly gay player, Rapinoe has been outspoken in her support for the LGBTQIA community as well as other social justice causes such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Rapinoe also stood in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

Along with her teammates, they fought for equal pay within the national team. A struggle in which the players were ultimately successful.

“I think my experience of coming out and just after the World Cup leading into the Olympics was a big one, and just the reaction that I got, whether that was people coming up to me and saying how much that meant to them, or it gave them space to come out,” Rapinoe said.

“I think I realized right then, as the popularity of the team started to grow, that people came to see us, not just for what we were doing on the field, but they came to see themselves in us. And so how could we use that? How could we use the growing platform to fight for ourselves but also to fight for other people?”

Rapinoe and the USWNT didn’t let some of the criticism that came their way because they were outspoken, deter them from trying to fight for equal pay or to stand for social justice issues they felt were, and are, important.

On the pitch, her success with the national team speaks for itself.

During her 17-year international career, Rapinoe has taken part in four World Cups, helping the U.S. to back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2019, respectively. She also participated in three Olympics, winning the gold medal in 2012 in London.

Rapinoe’s last official tournament match with the USWNT was in the 2023 World Cup where she missed a penalty in the shootout loss to Sweden. Despite that, she has no regrets about her time with the national team.

“I feel like I got the most out of my career,” Rapinoe said. “I feel like I did my absolute best and maximized my talent and my given gifts. I’ve had so much fun. I’ve enjoyed and celebrated along the way. I think that’s probably why I feel so at peace.

“I don’t think I’ve done everything right, but I’ve done everything the way I wanted to and feel like I really got the most out of this career that I possibly could have gotten.”

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