Megan Rapinoe left the final game of her glittering soccer career after less than three minutes, having suffered a non-contact lower-leg injury off the ball.
Rapinoe entered Saturday’s NWSL championship game on the brink of retirement, in search of the one trophy that had eluded her and her longtime club, the OL Reign. A title, she said hours before the game, would “be amazing” and mean “everything.”
But in the 3rd minute, while pressing an opponent and pivoting, she went down and stayed down. Teammates soon came to tend to her. Athletic trainers followed.
Rapinoe left the field limping, and in tears, with her arms around those athletic trainers. She hugged Gotham’s Ali Krieger, her longtime friend and teammate — but on Saturday, an opponent — as she walked off.
Megan Rapinoe goes down with an injury less than three minutes into the NWSL Final in her last career game 💔
She receives a standing ovation from Snapdragon Stadium pic.twitter.com/uwqG2epzMK
— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) November 12, 2023
Bethany Balcer replaced Rapinoe on the Reign’s left wing.
About 20 minutes later, Lynn Williams scored to give NJ/NY Gotham FC a 1-0 lead.
This is a developing story and will be updated.