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Kelley O’Hara will not be rooting for Megan Rapinoe in the last game of her professional soccer career.
While O’Hara is excited she’ll get to be on the field for Rapinoe’s sendoff during the NWSL Championship between O’Hara’s Gotham FC and Rapinoe’s OL Reign on Saturday, she’s keeping the battle lines drawn.
“I wasn’t able to go to Pinoe’s last national team game,” O’Hara said during media day on Thursday. “So I was thinking the other day I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I’ll get to be at her last game actually.’ So that’s exciting. I, unfortunately, cannot hope for her to have a good last game.”
That feeling is shared by Gotham midfielder Allie Long, who doesn’t want to hear from Rapinoe until after the final whistle blows. Gotham defender Ali Krieger is also playing in her last game Saturday before she heads off into retirement alongside Rapinoe.
“Once we knew we’re playing them, I’m like, ‘Don’t text me. I don’t want to see you,'” she said. “I feel like maybe if it wasn’t [Krieger]’s last game, Pinoe’s last game [would be different]. I feel very loyal. Even if we’re in season [and] it’s not a final, once the whistle blows, it’s like alright. And maybe before the game, we might hug it out. But we’re not pookies until after.”
O’Hara acknowledged that the narrative of Krieger and Rapinoe playing against one another in the final is “pretty incredible.”
“I mean, you can’t come up with a better storyline than the two of them playing their last game against each other for a championship,” she said. “It’s pretty incredible. And obviously what those two have done for not only this league. but the U.S. team and just soccer in general in this country, around the world, has been incredible.
“It is really crazy that it’s actually happening, and I’m so happy that it is.”
Krieger and Rapinoe will both be looking to win the first NWSL Championship of their careers, as will OL Reign and Gotham FC in the history of their organizations.