Megan Rapinoe’s career defined by more than farewell match injury

Megan Rapinoe goes down with injury

OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe goes down with an injury in NWSL Championship (Photo by Ben Nichols/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Win or lose, Megan Rapinoe’s playing career was coming to an end Saturday night. She had the fairytale all teed up…90 minutes away from an NWSL Championship trophy, Bud Light-infused celebrations to follow, and bragging rights over her wife Sue Bird who is co-owner of Gotham FC.

Her worst-case scenario heading into the game involved a loss and a trophy-less trip home. I feel confident in assuming a game-ending injury was nowhere on the radar.

I suppose if you need a sign that you’ve made the right decision to hang up your boots, your body physically saying “no more” is a pretty good one. Sign from the soccer gods or not, it’s the kind of crushing ending that you have to laugh about or else you might cry for a good long while.

It’s not all bad news however. As she heads into a post-soccer life of immediate injury rehab, she can hug her Olympic gold medal for comfort and use her World Cup trophies to catch her tears. There are worse ways to nurse the pain of an 84-minute premature, injury-laden retirement.

Megan Rapinoe’s impact on US Soccer is undeniable

Megan Rapinoe’s legacy involves a myriad of edgy, bright hairstyles, unabashedly strong opinions on pretty much everything, and goals on goals on goals, often in game-defining moments.

She’s controversial for some, she’s a beacon of hope and change for others. She loves to ruffle feathers, but she does it standing tall with a self-confidence young girls take note of.

No matter how you feel about Megan Rapinoe as she steps off the field at 38, she undeniably helped create a path with less resistance and more opportunity for all the women who will follow.