Megan Rapinoe announced the end of her international career.
She made this announcement after the USA defeated South Africa 2-0.
Rapinoe received a warm reception from fans.
In Chicago, Megan Rapinoe announced the end of her international career as the USA defeated South Africa 2-0.
The forward declared before the 2023 World Cup that she would stop playing after the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.
Rapinoe, 38, made her USA debut in 2006 and has since amassed 203 caps, 63 goals, and two World Cup victories.
“So overwhelming. It has been amazing,” Rapinoe said of the reception she received on Sunday’s friendly.
“It has been really wonderful, to hear all the nice things, to have a closure moment, to play in front of a big crowd again.
“I’ll miss it forever. I don’t think I’ll ever be at a moment where it will feel perfect but this is pretty close.”
When Rapinoe was removed after 54 minutes of the game at Soldier Field, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
The 2012 London Olympics saw the USA win gold, and the 2019 Ballon d’Or winner represented her nation at four World Cups. However, she was one of three players who missed a penalty kick when the USA lost to Sweden in the round of 16 of the 2023 World Cup.
Rapinoe had to hold back her tears as she thanked the crowd for their support over the previous 17 years in her address following Sunday’s victory.
“I feel like I’ve been able to grow up in front of all of you,” Rapinoe said.
“It has been such an honor to be able to wear this shirt and play with all these amazing players and to just live out my childhood dream, casually, just like in front of the world,” Rapinoe said.
“We fought so hard off the field to continue to create more space for ourselves to be who we are but hopefully in turn more space for you guys to be who you are.
“I’m not going to go away forever. Don’t worry. I’m one of you guys now.”
When the NWSL’s OL Reign play their final game of the season against the Chicago Red Stars on October 15, Rapinoe is expected to announce her retirement from the game.