American soccer icon Megan Rapinoe exited her final professional game on Saturday with an injury before Gotham FC defeated Rapinoe’s OL Reign 2-1 Saturday to win its first-ever National Women’s Soccer League.
In the third minute of the match while both teams were tied 1-1 in the first half, Rapinoe went down with a noncontact injury. Training staff attended to the 38-year-old athlete, who remained down on the turf for about two minutes.
The two-time World Cup winner limped off the field under her own power accompanied by the trainers at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California, and was replaced by substitute Bethany Balcer.
The Olympic champion later told game broadcaster CBS she suspects that she tore her Achilles tendon.
“This is a tough one, definitely not how I envisioned this last one going,” Rapinoe said.
Rapinoe did return to the sideline in a walking boot after briefly leaving the field and appeared to be in high spirits.
“Thank you to everyone who’s been on the journey for all this time. It’s been amazing. I couldn’t, besides this (injury), I couldn’t have written it any different,” she added. “Just super proud of my whole career and really thankful for all that it’s given me and for how long I’ve been able to play. So even though it was a tough night it was still amazing, and so thankful to be here. And again, so proud of our group and congrats to Gotham.”
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire/AP
USA defender Ali Krieger (11) and USA forward Megan Rapinoe (15) walk off the field at half time during the USA Victory Tour match between the United States of America and the Republic of Ireland on August 3, 2019, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
Saturday’s match marked the last time Rapinoe and Ali Krieger, a fellow US Women’s National Team legend, would take to the pitch as foes as Krieger’s Gotham FC took on OL Reign.
The two soccer greats, who were set to say farewell to the professional sport on November 11, have been friends and teammates for much of their illustrious careers.
Ahead of the game, in the final pre-match press conference of her career, an emotional Rapinoe couldn’t hold back the tears.
“I’ve always tried to play the game the right way, always tried to enjoy it,” she told reporters when answering a question on her…
Read More: US Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe exits with an injury in her final game during 2023-11-12 06:04:00