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USWNT players: Megan Rapinoe’s ‘devastating’ ending doesn’t tarnish career

OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe poses with New Jersey/New York Gotham FC players after the NWSL Championship at Snapdragon Stadium. (Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports)

Megan Rapinoe left her last professional soccer game under unfortunate circumstances — after less than three minutes on the pitch, she went down with a torn Achilles.

Rapinoe’s international playing career also ended unceremoniously after she missed a penalty kick in the USWNT’s Round of 16 loss to Sweden in the 2023 World Cup, eliminating them from the tournament.

On the latest episode of the “Snacks” podcast, Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams discuss how small those two moments look in the scope of Rapinoe’s legendary career. 

“I just feel like she’s had such an amazing career. And the last two things, both her national team and club, have been pretty devastating endings, so I just feel for her,” Williams said. “But none of this is … gonna put a damper on her career as a whole.”

Williams, Rapinoe’s opponent in the NWSL Championship, explained that she and Rapinoe were making jokes about the injury after the match, laughing to hold back tears over the way Rapinoe’s last game ended. Instead of “riding off into retirement,” as Williams described it, Rapinoe is headed to rehab again, no longer as a professional soccer player.

Mewis agrees that the injury in her final match doesn’t take anything away from Rapinoe’s accomplishments throughout her career.

“Like you said, I feel like nothing could tarnish her career,” Mewis said. “I just have so much respect for her. Even the three minutes that she played, she served in a really dangerous cross. I think, what an incredible player.

“She’s done so much for the game, like you and I both admire her so much.”