CHICAGO — Fans in the “Windy City” were witness to the end of a remarkable international career in the sport of soccer from one of the greatest players in the history of the United States women’s national team.
Megan Rapinoe made the most of her final match in the place where he professional career began.
The midfielder took the pitch for the last time at Soldier Field on Sunday as the USWNT faced South Africa in an international friendly. It was her 203rd and final appearance for the United States, completing a career where she helped the team to two Women’s World Cup titles.
Rapinoe will end her overall soccer career when her season with the OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League concludes.
Before the match, she was honored with a ceremony that included the presentation of a jersey in tribute to her time with the national team from 2006-2023.
Rapinoe was in the starting 11 against South Africa, wearing her customary captain’s armband to start the match.
She’s been with the team during the two Women’s World Cup wins along with an Olympic gold medal in 2012, three Algarve Cups & CONCACAF Women’s Championships, four SheBelieves Cups, and more.
In the second half, Rapinoe finished with one more assist in her national team career as she drove the corner kick toward the net, where Emily Sonnett punched it the net with the header to make it 2-0.
In the 54th minute, she got the chance to go off the field for the last time to cheers as she was subbed out of the match.
As the crowd gave her a standing ovation and teammates shared hugs, Rapinoe walked to the sidelines and bowed to the crowd in appreciation for the support.
At the conclusion of the final match, a 2-0 USWNT win, Rapinoe got to say thanks to the fans at Soldier Field with a four-minute speech.
“I feel like I’ve been able to grow up in front of all of you,” said Rapinoe to the fans. “Obviously, we’re here in Chicago, but there’s so many fans around the country and around the world. When I think about what it means to me to represent not only this team but our country, it’s just that.
“We’re a little snapshot of all of you. I think our team has always taken so much pride in that fact, in showing up as our full selves.”