The legendary USWNT striker will have her “Farewell Game” when the team hosts South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sept. 24, the federation announced Tuesday. The Sept. 24 match is the second of a two-game friendly series against South Africa, but Rapinoe won’t play in the first match in Cincinnati on Sept. 21.
“People may think that my career coming to an end would bring sadness, but when I think back on the past 30-plus years of playing this game, my overriding emotions are joy and gratitude,” Rapinoe said in a statement. “It’s been an unbelievable ride. It will be special to have this one last opportunity to play for my country in front of our incredible fans and get the chance to thank my teammates and everyone who has had an impact on me as a person and player over the years.”
Rapinoe, 38, announced she would be retiring from soccer at the end of the 2023 NWSL season ahead of the Women’s World Cup in July. The two-time World Cup champion wasn’t able to win her third straight World Cup though, missing her kick in the penalty kick shootout in the United States’ round of 16 loss to Sweden.
Still, Rapinoe will end her time with the national team as one of the most decorated women’s soccer players ever. In addition to her two World Cup wins, she has an Olympic gold medal and bronze medal. She also won the Golden Ball at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Statistically, Rapinoe has scored 63 goals and dished out 73 assists in her international career, making her one of eight players in USWNT history with at least 50 goals and assists. She’ll play in her 203rd international match in her “Farewell Game,” making her one of 14 players in the team’s history to play in at least 200 matches.
Rapinoe was first called up to the national team in 2006 but two ACL injuries kept her sidelined in 2007 and 2008 before she made her return in 2009. She was a mainstay on the roster ever since then.
Rapinoe is still playing the season out with the OL Reign, her club team in the NWSL. The club will honor her in its final regular-season home match on Oct. 6 in a match billed as “Forever Reign: A Celebration of Megan Rapinoe,” OL Reign announced earlier in August.
OL Reign’s final regular season game is set for Oct. 15. The club currently sits in a playoff spot in the NWSL table.
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