SAN DIEGO — Megan Rapinoe’s professional soccer career ended in cruel fashion Saturday as an injury forced the OL Reign star to be substituted in just the sixth minute of the NWSL championship game against NJ/NY Gotham FC.
The U.S. women’s national team icon, who announced in July that she would retire at the end of the season, suffered a non-contact injury and sunk to the turf before limping off the field at Snapdragon Stadium.
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As she exited the field, Rapinoe hugged former longtime USWNT teammate and Gotham defender Ali Krieger, who is also retiring after Saturday’s title game. Rapinoe was replaced by Bethany Balcer.
Despite the 38-year-old’s illustrious career, Rapinoe has never won an NWSL title.
Earlier in the summer, two-time World Cup winner Rapinoe retired from the U.S. women’s national team after earning her 203rd cap.
During a media day on Thursday, Rapinoe opened up about sharing a final game with Krieger
“I mean obviously only one of us is gonna be able to win and that’s gonna be sad for whoever the person that doesn’t win,” she said.
“But it’s really special to share the length of career that we have [had]…I know if I win, she’ll be happy for me and if she wins, I’ll be thrilled for her.”