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Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe predicted their NWSL Championship clash

OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe dribbles the ball against Gotham FC defender Ali Krieger during the 2023 NWSL regular season. (Stephen Brashear/USA TODAY Sports)

Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe are retiring at the end of the 2023 NWSL season. And as Krieger revealed, both predicted their final meeting in the championship match.

Krieger, 39, announced her impending retirement ahead of the league season in March, while Rapinoe, 38, announced hers ahead of the World Cup in July. In her Instagram Stories, Krieger posted a screenshot of a text message exchange with Rapinoe from September in which they discussed their last games.

“When is your last game for the Gothams?” Rapinoe wrote to Krieger, who is the captain for the New Jersey-based club and an NWSL Defender of the Year nominee.

“Nov. 11,” Krieger replied with confidence. That would be the date of the NWSL Championship at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego. At the time of the exchange, both Krieger’s Gotham FC and Rapinoe’s OL Reign were very much on the postseason bubble.

Rapinoe laughed in response to Krieger’s answer, but she also shot back: “Well I guess that’s my last game too.”

With Sunday’s wins by Gotham FC and OL Reign in the NWSL semifinals, the former USWNT teammates indeed will face off in the league final to cap off their illustrious careers. And each player will be seeking her first NWSL title.

“The fairytale is Pinoe and Kriegs,” OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey said Sunday. “It’s a great story.”