For the last 15 years, United States women’s national team forward Megan Rapinoe has been a staple in women’s soccer. She’s become an icon both on and off the pitch and recently won her second Olympic medal, earning bronze this summer in Tokyo.
Rapinoe is still more than capable of playing at an elite level, but when asked about her future in the sport on Monday, she said she would “need to take some time to think about it.”
Earlier this week, USWNT forward Carli Lloyd, 39, announced her retirement from the national team after appearing in four upcoming fall friendlies and from her club team at the end of the season. Her teammate isn’t quite as sure that she’ll also head down that path, but she has thought about hanging up her jersey for good.
“Just in terms of my whole career, I don’t really know yet. I need to take some time to think about it,” Rapinoe said on ESPN’s Spain and Fitz show when asked whether or not she would follow Lloyd into retirement.
“They always say, ‘You’ll know when you know,’ but it’s not really like that, because you could kind of keep going, and it’s like ‘Aw yeah, you’ve accomplished so much, you’ll be fine stepping away.’ But the conversation is always anguished in your mind. Or people just don’t think about it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”
Rapinoe debuted for the USWNT back in 2006 and made her first major national appearance at the 2011 World Cup. Since then she’s gone on to be one of the leaders for the group both on the pitch and as an outspoken advocate for various social justice causes. Over the last 15 years, she’s played in 185 games for the USWNT and scored 61 goals.
In the immediate future, Rapinoe plans to return to OL Reign, her National Women’s Soccer League team, this week after taking a short break following the Olympics. She’s been with the club since 2013 and has scored 34 goals in 75 appearances.
Rapinoe has accomplished just about everything possible her sport and certainly doesn’t have anything left to prove. When she does decide to hang up her jersey and boots for good, the USWNT will surely miss her.