Megan Rapinoe has announced she will retire at the conclusion of the 2023 NWSL season.
The OL Reign forward is currently preparing to compete for the USA – the two-time defending champions – at the Women’s World Cup, which starts this month in Australia and New Zealand.
Rapinoe wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been able to have such an incredible career, and this game has brought me all over the world and allowed me to meet so many amazing people.
“I feel incredibly grateful to have played as long as I have, to be as successful as we’ve been and to have been a part of a generation of players who undoubtedly left the game better than they found it.
“To be able to play one last World Cup and one last NWSL season and go out on my own terms is incredibly special.
“I want to thank my family for being by my side all these years. Thanks to all my team-mates and coaches all the way back to my first days in Redding, on to college at the University of Portland and of course thanks to US Soccer, the Seattle Reign and especially Sue [Bird, Rapinoe’s partner] for everything.
“I will forever cherish the friendships and support over the years in this game and I am beyond excited for one last ride with the national team and the Reign.”
Rapinoe has earned 199 caps and a 2012 Olympic gold medal with the USA, along with the World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019.
Following her second World Cup win, Rapinoe was named Best FIFA Women’s Player and won the Ballon d’Or Feminin.
In 2022, Rapinoe became the first football player to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The USA begin their 2023 World Cup campaign on July 22 against Vietnam before facing the Netherlands and Portugal in Group E.
Rapinoe’s final regular-season match at Seattle’s Lumen Field will be on October 6 against the Washington Spirit.
She joined the Reign during the NWSL’s inaugural season in 2013 and holds the club records for goals (48) and assists (25).
Rapinoe has won three NWSL Shields with the Reign and earned one Best XI and two Second XI selections.
What is the World Cup schedule?
The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.
The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.
A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.