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USWNT’s private player retirement meetings are a ‘sob fest’

Megan Rapinoe addresses the crowd at Chicago's Soldier Field after playing in her final USWNT match on Sept. 24. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The U.S. women’s national team said goodbye to two greats this month in Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe. And the private retirement meetings between the teams’ players turn into a “sob fest,” Sam Mewis shared on the latest episode of “Snacks.”

Those pregame meetings take place before every USWNT retirement, with U.S. Soccer playing a video of that player’s highlights and important moments from their career. Similar meetings after a player’s 100th appearance, too.

“Players who are really close to them get up and say a few words about the player,” Mewis said the Just Women’s Sports podcast. “And it’s always, like, a sob fest, because obviously you’re there to talk about somebody who means so much to you.

“Whether they’re leaving or they’ve reached this milestone, it’s always just a really emotional day.”

Her “Snacks” co-host and USWNT teammate Lynn Williams also noted that it’s “weird” that the team holds the meetings before the games, as players are left full of emotions. So with Rapinoe, who played in her final national team match Sunday, the team switched it up after the emotional wringer of Ertz’s retirement.

“With Pinoe’s, we did it the night before just because with Julie’s, we were like, ‘Alright, we can’t be doing this before the game,’” Williams said. “But it was so good. … Julie stepped onto the national team, was such a force and took her opportunity. … I felt like that was just like her career summed up in one moment, she just made the most of every single opportunity she got on the field.”