Megan Rapinoe’s retirement tour in the NWSL continues, with a stop coming next weekend at Providence Park in Portland.
And Portland’s Meghan Klingenberg already has a great way to celebrate her final match in Portland.
“I think the greatest compliment that I, and we, could give her as the Thorns is to kick her ass when she comes to Providence Park,” she said.
Of course, even in celebrating one of the greatest to ever play the game, and a great personal friend, one of the biggest NWSL rivalries will not fall to the side. The animosity is felt by both sides. Laura Harvey has once said “We hate Portland” to Goal. Last year, Christine Sinclair said “F–k Seattle” during Portland’s NWSL Championship celebrations.
So of course, it’s only fitting that Rapinoe’s sendoff would include such a result. And that doesn’t discount what she’s meant to the game.
“She’s totally changed the sport and the way that the sport is talked about,” Klingenberg continued. “She’s brave, she’s loud, she’s hilarious. … It’s always fun to be on the field with her, whether she’s on my team or whether she’s against me. But I think there’s never been a player like Pinoe before, one that is just as loud and effective and authentic on the field as she is off.”
Klingenberg also called it “really beautiful” to have a role model like that, even though Rapinoe is just “being herself” and likely doesn’t think of herself that way.
“She’s just out there being who she is,” she said. “But when you don’t have anyone to look up to when you’re little, when you don’t see anybody, you can’t dream what you could be. And so Pinoe has been that person for a long time for a lot of young women, young men, young people.
“Hopefully we will continue to see more of those type of people because they’re needed.”