Rapinoe's Legendary NWSL Farewell in Seattle
|Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign waves to fans after her last home regular-season NWSL match at Lumen Field on October 06, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Image-Getty)
Megan Rapinoe bid farewell to her illustrious National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) career in front of a record crowd of 34,130 fans at Lumen Field in Seattle. Playing her final regular season home game for OL Reign, the two-time World Cup champion and OL Reign icon shared an emotional moment with her supporters.
Throughout her remarkable 11-season NWSL journey, Rapinoe helped shape OL Reign's identity, remaining devoted to the club since its inception. Her deep connection to Seattle was evident as she described it as her home and the safest place she could be.
Before the match, Rapinoe's teammates paid tribute by wearing number 15 warmup shirts in her honor. A video tribute, featuring sporting legends like Billie Jean King and Ken Griffey Jr., played on the stadium's screens, celebrating her incredible career.
Rapinoe, at 38 years old, expressed her gratitude on the field after the game, describing the significance of playing her entire career in one city. Her international career had already concluded, with her last appearance for the U.S. national team taking place a month earlier in a friendly against South Africa. Sadly, her fourth and final World Cup campaign earlier that year had ended in disappointment, as the U.S. team was eliminated in the Round of 16.
While the match ended in a scoreless draw, it was not the outcome OL Reign had hoped for in their playoff pursuit. Rapinoe had two close attempts on goal in the 50th and 61st minutes, both denied by Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury. OL Reign's goalkeeper, Claudia Dickey, also made crucial saves, including one in the 89th minute against Dorian Bailey and two stoppage-time attempts by Trinity Rodman, Rapinoe's national team compatriot.
As Rapinoe left the field, players from both teams embraced her, and the crowd, which included her fiancée Sue Bird, a five-time Olympic basketball gold medalist, roared in appreciation. Rapinoe expressed her gratitude, reflecting on her incredible journey and thanking everyone who had been part of it.