Megan Rapinoe is aiming to play for the U.S. women’s national soccer team in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking on “The Limits” podcast with Jay Williams, Rapinoe revealed that she aims to play in next summer’s World Cup, which would be her third in a row.
“I hope so. That’s the plan now,” she said. “I’m getting a little bit older, so I want to go through the season and see how my body feels and all that.
“But I feel like I still have a lot to give. And, you know, I know the team, the dynamic of the team, especially the national team is changing a lot, with a lot of younger players who are absolutely killing it. But I feel like I’d be a nice bridge into the next generation.”
Balancing the next generation of players with the veterans like Rapinoe is something USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski has addressed. The start of this year has seen a plethora of younger players grace the roster for friendlies and the SheBelieves tournament, many earning their first caps with the national team.
This all comes as the USWNT prepares to qualify for next year’s World Cup. As young stars like Catarina Macario, Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith have risen through the ranks, it’s led to questions about the status of veteran stars like Christen Press, Alex Morgan, Rapinoe and more.
Andonovski also has been vocal about players’ performances with club teams. A former NWSL head coach himself, he takes those performances into account in his selection process.
There are two more friendlies in June against Colombia before July’s qualifying tournament.
The players who make the cut for next year’s World Cup also stand to make more money following the recent announcement that the USWNT had signed a CBA that is equal to the men’s team. While it’s a win for the team, Rapinoe wasn’t as quick to congratulate U.S. Soccer.
“You can congratulate us, but U.S. Soccer gets no congratulations,” she said. “They’ve been trying to, like, wrap themselves around the win. And I’m like, it just – I’m like, you do realize that equal pay – achieving it means that you weren’t? So, you know, you’re not going to get any pats on the back for this.
“We shouldn’t have had to have done it and had this sort of yearslong fight, but I think a nice congratulations are in order. There’s obviously been a lot of people involved, so much work and effort and all of that.”
But Rapinoe says that while the CBA is a big step, the enforcement of the contract will be key in ensuring that equality is reached between the two teams.
“A collective bargaining agreement is just words on paper,” she said. “It’s like, it doesn’t actually make anyone do anything. It’s the enforcement on both sides that actually make that happen and the collaboration and working together.”