Megan Anna Rapinoe ( /rəˈpiːnoʊ/ ( ) ; born July 5, 1985) is an American professional soccer midfielder / winger who plays for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League. As a member of the United States women's national soccer team, she helped the U.S. win gold at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, and silver at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play [20] [22] and her precise cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals against Brazil, which resulted in an equalizer goal and eventual win for the Americans after a penalty kick shootout. The last-minute goal set a record for latest goal ever scored in a match and was awarded ESPN's 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year. During the 2012 London Olympics, she scored three goals and tallied a team-high four assists to lead the United States to a gold medal. She is the first player, male or female, to score a Goal Olimpico at the Olympic Games.

Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBT organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. In 2013, she was awarded the Board of Directors Award by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. She is sponsored by Nike, Samsung and DJO Global, and has appeared in multiple promotional pieces for clothing company Wildfang, as well as for Nike. She previously played for the Chicago Red Stars, Philadelphia Independence and magicJack in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) as well as Olympique Lyonnais in France's Division 1 Féminine.

Early life

Rapinoe grew up in Redding, California, with her parents, Jim and Denise, and five siblings, including her fraternal twin, Rachael. She spent most of her youth playing with teams coached by her father until high school. [23] Instead of playing soccer at Foothill High School, Rapinoe played for the Elk Grove Pride club team, located south of Sacramento. [24] She competed in track as a freshman and sophomore; basketball as a freshman, sophomore, and senior; and was on the honor roll every semester of high school. Rapinoe was named Parade and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American as a junior and senior. She was named to McDonald's All-American Game in 2004. Rapinoe played for the under-14 Northern California state Olympic Development Program (ODP) team in 1999 as well as the regional ODP team in 2002. [26]

Elk Grove United, 2002–05

From 2002 to 2005, Rapinoe played for Elk Grove Pride in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) along with her twin sister, Rachael, and future national teammate, Stephanie Cox. [27] She and her family commuted two-and-a-half hours from her hometown to play with the team. During the US Youth Soccer National Championships, she scored an equalizer goal in the 18th minute to tie the game 1–1 against the Peachtree City Lazers. Elk Grove United finished second at the nationals after the Lazers scored a game-winning goal in the second half. [28]

University of Portland Pilots, 2005–08

Rapinoe and her sister both attended the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon. The Rapinoe twins almost committed to Santa Clara University before choosing to play for the Portland Pilots on full scholarships. In 2004, Rapinoe did not play college soccer in what would have been her freshman season in order to play in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship where the United States placed third. [29]

In 2005, as a freshman, Rapinoe helped the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. During the College Cup quarterfinal against Notre Dame, she scored twice and served one assist, helping the Pilots win 3–1 and advance to the College Cup. [30] During the College Cup final against UCLA, she scored one goal and served an assist helping the Pilots win 4–0. [31] She was named NSCAA First Team All-American and was on the Soccer America First Team Freshman All-America. Rapinoe made the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship All Tournament Team and was the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. [32] She was also named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team and the All-West Coast Conference Freshman Team. Rapinoe played and started all 25 games as an attacking midfielder, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists for 43 points – ranking fifth for freshman point totals in the school's history. [26] That year, she also scored seven game-winning goals.

"I know this sounds weird, but getting hurt was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It really gave me a different perspective. Before, everything was going how it was supposed to be and I wasn't really appreciative of what I was doing and what it took to be there. The injury grounded me in a lot of different ways. The rehab process makes you stronger on all fronts, mentally and physically. I feel stronger and a better person for it. I would never wish it on anyone, but I don't wish I could take it back."
— Megan Rapinoe [33]

As a sophomore in 2006, Rapinoe was among the nation's leading scorers with ten goals and two assists in eleven matches. During a match against Washington State University on October 5, she suffered her first season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. [34] Despite her injury, she was one of three Portland players in the program's history, including Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan, to score 25 goals and 15 assists in 2 seasons. In 2007, Rapinoe suffered her second season-ending ACL injury two games into the season. [26] She was granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, but did not use it. [35]

After taking her time to recover from her second ACL injury, Rapinoe returned for the 2008 season and was on the starting lineup in all 22 games for the Pilots. She helped the team secure a 20–2 record scoring five goals and serving 13 assists. [20] Her 13 assists ranked first for the Pilots as well as in the West Coast Conference and she was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year. [20] She was also named a Soccer America First-Team All-American and NSCAA Second Team All-American. Although she had one more season of college eligibility remaining due to her NCAA medical hardship waiver, she opted to enter the Women's Professional Soccer Draft instead. [20] Rapinoe's 88-point career, including 30 goals and 28 assists, ranks tenth in the school's history despite her playing only 60 games.

Club career

Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), 2009–11

Rapinoe was selected second overall in the 2009 WPS Draft by the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), the highest division of soccer in the United States at the time. [20] She was on the starting lineup in 17 of the 18 games in which she appeared for the Red Stars for a total of 1,375 minutes on the pitch. [40] Rapinoe scored two goals and assisted on three others. In August 2009, she was named to the league's All-Star Team [20] and played in the 2009 WPS All-Star Game against Swedish Damallsvenskan champions Umeå IK. [20] In 2010, she started in 19 of the 20 games in which she appeared for the Red Stars. She scored one goal.

In December 2010, Rapinoe signed with expansion team Philadelphia Independence after the Chicago Red Stars ceased operations. [20] She appeared in four games and scored one goal before being traded to magicJack (formerly Washington Freedom) while she was in Germany for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. [20] [20] It was reported that the "cash considerations" involved in the transfer were $100,000. [22] [22] The average salary for a female player in the league was $25,000. [22] Rapinoe scored two goals in her eight regular season appearances for magicJack [40] helping the team finish third in the league standings and secure a spot in the playoffs. [22] [22] During the team's semifinal match against the Boston Breakers on August 17, 2011, Rapinoe scored in the 61st minute solidifying the team's 3–1 win and advancement to the championship final. [22] magicJack was later defeated 2–0 by the Philadelphia Independence in the final. [22] [22] On October 25, 2011, the WPS voted to terminate the magicJack franchise, leaving Rapinoe and many other players as free agents for the 2012 season. [22] The league suspended operations in early 2012. [22]

Sydney FC and Seattle Sounders Women, 2011–12

In October 2011, Rapinoe signed with Australian W-League team Sydney FC as a guest player for two games. [23] In her second game against Melbourne Victory, she scored with seven minutes remaining to seal three points for Sydney. [23] The win was the first for Sydney during the 2011–12 season. [23] Sydney FC went on to finish third in the regular season [23] and advanced to the playoffs where they were defeated by Brisbane Roar in penalty kicks. [23]

During the summer of 2012, Rapinoe joined fellow national team members Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan and Stephanie Cox to play with the Seattle Sounders Women in between camps with the national team as they prepared for the 2012 Summer Olympics. [23] Of the signing, Sounders head coach Michelle French said, "Stemming from her leadership and success at the University of Portland, Megan has continued to evolve and grow into one of the most exciting, unpredictable, creative, and flashy players in the women's game." [23] Rapinoe made two appearances during the regular season with the team, serving two assists. [23] With Rapinoe and her national teammates' presence on the team, [23] [23] the Sounders sold out nine of their ten home matches at the 4,500 capacity Starfire Stadium. [70] Average attendance during the 2012 season for the Sounders Women was four times higher than the next closest team. [70]

Olympique Lyonnais, 2013–14

In January 2013, Rapinoe signed for six months with Olympique Lyonnais, the French side that had previously won six consecutive French league championships and two straight European titles, for a reported 11,000 euros (or approximately $14,000) a month. [24] Rapinoe played in six regular season matches for the team, scoring two goals primarily playing as a left winger in the squad's 4–3–3 formation. [40]

Rapinoe made her UEFA Women's Champions League debut during the first leg of the 2012–13 quarterfinal against FC Malmö on March 20, 2013. [72] She scored one goal during her 24 minutes on the pitch contributing to Lyon's 5–0 final victory. [24] She later scored a goal and served an assist during Lyon's 6–1 win over FCF Juvisy in the second leg of the semifinals. [24] Rapinoe became the fifth American woman in history to play in a Champions League final when Lyon faced German side VfL Wolfsburg on May 23, 2013. [24] [24] Lyon was defeated 1–0 in the final. [72] Rapinoe concluded her Champions League debut having made five appearances, scoring two goals and serving one assist. [72]

After returning to Lyon for the 2013–14 season, [24] Rapinoe scored three goals in her eight appearances for the club. [40] During the 2013–14 Champions League, she made four appearances for Lyon and scored one goal during the team's 6–0 defeat of FC Twente. [78] [24] Lyon was eliminated in the Round of 16. [80] In January 2014, it was announced that Rapinoe had ended her time with Lyon earlier than planned and would be returning to the Seattle Reign for the entire 2014 season. [81] She finished her time with Lyon having scored 8 goals in 28 matches in all competitions. [82]

Seattle Reign FC, 2013–present

In 2013, Rapinoe joined Seattle Reign FC to which she had been previously allocated in the National Women's Soccer League. [83] Before Rapinoe joined the squad, the team had been struggling to score goals and were 0–9–1 in ten games. [84] With the addition of Rapinoe, her national team and former Seattle Sounders Women teammate, Hope Solo, and some lineup changes to the front line, the Reign improved their goal-scoring ability and turned their league record around. [85] During a match against her former team in the WPS, the Chicago Red Stars, Rapinoe played a direct role in all of Seattle's four goals – leading the team to a 4–1 win over Chicago. After scoring two goals and serving one assist during the match, she was named NWSL Player of the Week for Week 16 for the 2013 NWSL season. [86] Despite only playing approximately half of the season (12 out of 22 regular season games), Rapinoe was the Reign's leading scorer with five goals. [88]

After suffering a foot injury during the first home match of the 2014 season on April 14, Rapinoe sat out several games and made her second season appearance on July 3 against Western New York Flash. Her four goals and one assist during the regular season helped the Reign secure the league's regular season title ( NWSL Shield) with a 16–2–6 record and 54 points – 13 points ahead of the second place team, FC Kansas City. [90] During the team's playoff semi-final match against Washington Spirit, Rapinoe scored a goal helping the Reign win 2–1 and advance to the championship final against FC Kansas City. [91] Despite Rapinoe's goal during the championship final, the Reign was ultimately defeated by Kansas City 2–1. [92]

Rapinoe returned to the Reign for the 2015 season. During the team's first match against Western New York Flash, she scored her first professional hat trick and served an assist to Jess Fishlock to help the Reign defeat the Flash 5–1. [93] [94] She was subsequently named the league's NWSL Player of the Week for week 1 of the season. [95] [96]

International career

Youth national teams

Rapinoe played for the United States under-16 national soccer team in 2002 and traveled with the team to France and Houston, Texas. She also played at the United States Youth Soccer Association International Tournament in Houston in May 2003.

From 2003 to 2005, Rapinoe played for the United States under-19 team. She made 21 appearances and scored nine goals. Her first camp with the under-19 team occurred in January 2003 in Chula Vista, California. She traveled with the team during a European tour to the Netherlands and Germany in July 2003. She scored her first goal with the team against Mexico on March 1, 2003. Rapinoe played in three matches at the 2004 CONCACAF Under-19 qualifying tournament, scoring three goals. During the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Thailand she scored a team-high three goals, including one in the third place match victory against Brazil. [97]

Senior national team

National team debut and injury recovery, 2006–09

Rapinoe trained with the United States women's national soccer team for the first time during the team's 2006 Residency Training Camp in Carson, California. She made her debut for the senior team on July 23, 2006, during a friendly match against Ireland. She scored her first two goals on October 1, 2006, during a friendly match against Taiwan.

Due to two separate ACL injuries, Rapinoe did not play for the senior team in 2007 or 2008 and subsequently missed the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. [99] Upon her return to the team in 2009, she led the team in points with five, including two goals and one assist. She was on the starting lineup in six of the seven games in which she played the same year.

During the 2009 Algarve Cup, Rapinoe scored the game-winning goal against Norway leading the team to a 1–0 victory during the team's third group stage match of the tournament. [100] After the U.S. finished at the top of their group, they were defeated during a penalty kick shoutout by Sweden in the championship final.

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup

In 2010, Rapinoe started eight of the ten games she played and scored four goals with two assists. Rapinoe scored against Sweden and China and twice against Guatemala at the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournament, in which she played three games. After the United States finished third at the tournament, they traveled to Italy to vie for a place at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in the UEFA-CONCACAF play-off against Italy. During the team's second match of the series, Rapinoe served the assist for Amy Rodriguez's game-winning goal helping the United States earn a berth to the 2011 World Cup. [102]

Rapinoe was named to the United States roster for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. During the team's second group stage match against Colombia, she entered the match during the 50th minute and scored almost immediately to put the United States up 2–0. Rapinoe celebrated her goal by running to the corner to the left of Colombia's goal, picking up an on-field microphone being used for the match's television broadcast, tapping it, and singing Bruce Springsteen's " Born in the U.S.A. " into it.

During the quarterfinal match against Brazil, Rapinoe came on as a substitute and served the precise cross to Abby Wambach's equalizer goal in the 122nd minute of the game: a goal that holds the record for latest goal ever scored in a World Cup match. Rapinoe would later convert her shot during the penalty shootout to help send the United States to the semifinals. Rapinoe described her last minute cross against Brazil: "I just took a touch and friggin' smacked it with my left foot. I don't think I've hit a ball like that with my left foot. I got it to the back post and that beast in the air just got a hold of it."

Following the match against Brazil, Rapinoe was named ESPN's Next Level Player of the Week for completing 5 of 10 crosses while the rest of the team was 0 for 18. She served an assist in the semifinal against France in which the United States won 3–1. During the dramatic final match against Japan in front of 48,817 spectators at sold-out Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt and a record-breaking international television audience, Rapinoe served her third assist of the tournament to Alex Morgan who scored the game-opening goal in the 69th minute. The United States tied Japan 2–2 during regular and overtime leading to their second penalty kick shootout of the tournament. They were defeated 3–1 in penalties and concluded the tournament with a silver medal. Rapinoe's tournament record included one goal and three assists. She played in all six games for the United States.

2012 London Olympics

Image
Rapinoe during a match against the Boston Breakers, April 13, 2014

Rapinoe helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. During the team's second group stage match against Colombia, she scored the game-winning goal in the 33rd minute in what became a 3–0 win for the Americans. After the U.S. defeated North Korea 1–0 in their final group stage match, they faced New Zealand in the quarterfinals and won 2–0. [27]

During a dramatic semifinal match against Canada at Old Trafford, Rapinoe scored two game-equalizing goals in the 54th and 70th minutes. Her first goal was a rare Goal Olimpico – a corner kick that goes untouched by another player into the net. [27] [105] She is the first and so far only player, male or female, to score an Olimpico at the Olympic Games. [27] The U.S. defeated Canada 4–3 with a stoppage time goal in the 123rd minute by Alex Morgan. [27] With her two goals, Rapinoe is one of only five players, including Wei Haiying, Cristiane, Angela Hucles and Christine Sinclair, to have scored two goals during an Olympic semifinal. [27]

The U.S. clinched the gold medal after defeating Japan 2–1 at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,203 spectators – the largest crowd ever for a women's Olympic soccer game. [27] Rapinoe assisted on Carli Lloyd's second goal of the final in the 53rd minute. [27] She ended the tournament with three goals and a team-high of four assists (tied with Alex Morgan). Widely regarded as one of the top players of the Olympics, Rapinoe was named to numerous 'Team of the Tournament' lists including those selected by the BBC [27] and All White Kit. [27]

Rapinoe had a career-high 8 goals and 12 assists for the United States throughout all of 2012.

2013–14

At the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal, Rapinoe was named the Player of the Tournament, despite playing in only two of the four matches in which the United States competed. She was injured in practice and did not play during the final as the team defeated Germany to win the 2013 Algarve Cup.

Image
Rapinoe takes a corner kick in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics

During a friendly match against South Korea on June 20, 2013, Rapinoe served a corner kick that ended up being the assist for Abby Wambach's record-breaking 159th international goal. Wambach's goal broke the world record for most international goals scored by a male or female. During a friendly match against New Zealand at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, Rapinoe scored the game-opening goal on a direct free kick (her 23rd international goal) to help the U.S. win 4–1 and was named Player of the Match.

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup

In April 2015, Rapinoe was named to the roster for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada coached by national team head coach Jill Ellis. During the team's first group stage match against Australia, she scored the game opening goal in the 12th minute. She also scored a second goal in the 78th minute. With an additional goal scored by teammate Christen Press in the 61st minute, the United States won 3–1.

During training for a Victory Tour match to celebrate the team's world cup win in late 2015, Rapinoe tore her ACL.

International goals


Goal
Date Location Opponent Lineup # Min Assist/pass Score Result Competition
1 2006-10-01 [170] USA Carson Chinese Taipei 12.

on 79' ( off Tarpley)

2.1 79 Wambach, Abby Abby Wambach

5950.09005 9–0

6050.10005 10–0

Friendly
2 2.2 82 Adams, Danesha Danesha Adams

6050.10005 10–0

3 2009-03-09 Portugal Ferreiras
Image
Rapinoe after the gold medal match at 2012 Summer Olympics; August 9, 2012
70.

off 70' ( on DiMartino)

1.121 Rodriguez, Amy Amy Rodriguez

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

Algarve Cup: Group B 42009-05-25 [172] Canada Toronto Canada 79.

off 79' ( on Tarpley)

1.146 O'Reilly, Heather Heather O'Reilly

5250.02005 2–0

5450.04005 4–0

Friendly 52010-07-17 [174] USA Hartford
Image
Rapinoe battles for the ball during a match against New Zealand at Candlestick Park, 2013
36.

off 36' ( on Lilly)

1.133 Boxx, Shannon Shannon Boxx

5150.01005 1–0

5350.03005 3–0

Friendly 62010-10-02 [176] USA Kennesaw China PR 90. Start1.121 O'Reilly, Heather Heather O'Reilly

5150.01005 1–0

5150.02005 2–1

Friendly 72010-10-30 [178] Mexico Cancun Guatemala 90. Start2.122 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5950.09005 9–0

World Cup qualifier: Group B 82.240 Lloyd, Carli Carli Lloyd

5550.05005 5–0

92011-03-02 [180] Portugal Santo Antonio Japan 45.

off 46' ( on Heath)

1.118 O'Reilly, Heather Heather O'Reilly

5250.02005 2–0

5150.02005 2–1

Algarve Cup: Group A 102011-04-02 [182] United Kingdom London England 70.

off 70' ( on Heath)

1.139 Boxx, Shannon Shannon Boxx

4950.01005 1–2

4950.01005 1–2

Friendly 112011-07-02 [184] Germany Sinsheim Colombia 45.

on 46' ( off Rodriguez)

1.150 Holiday, Lauren Lauren Holiday

5250.02005 2–0

5350.03005 3–0

World Cup: Group C 122012-01-22 [186] Canada Vancouver Guatemala 90. Start1.175 Morgan, Alex Alex Morgan

6150.11005 11–0

6350.13005 13–0

Olympic qualifier: Group B 132012-07-28 [188] GBR Glasgow Colombia 81.

off 81' ( on Rodriguez)

1.133 Morgan, Alex Alex Morgan

5150.01005 1–0

5350.03005 3–0

Olympics: Group G 142012-08-06 [190] GBR Manchester Canada 120. Start2.154 unassisted

5050.01005 1–1

5150.0400 4–3 aet

Olympics: semifinal 152.270 O'Hara, Kelley Kelley O'Hara

5050.02005 2–2

162012-09-01 [192] USA Rochester Costa Rica 55.

off 55' ( on Rodriguez)

2.113 unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5850.08005 8–0

Friendly 172.245 unassisted

5550.05005 5–0

182012-12-01 [194] USA Glendale Ireland 59.

off 59' ( on Rodriguez)

1.138 Morgan, Alex Alex Morgan

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Friendly 192012-12-15 [196] USA Boca Raton China PR 65.

off 65' ( on Leroux)

1.136 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5350.04005 4–1

Friendly 202013-02-13 [198] USA Nashville Scotland 90. Start1.121 unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5250.03005 3–1

Friendly 212013-03-08 [200] POR Albufeira China PR 90. Start1.146 unassisted

5350.03005 3–0

5550.05005 5–0

Algarve Cup: Group B 222013-04-05 [202] GER Offenbach Germany 90. Start1.155 Wambach, Abby Abby Wambach

5250.02005 2–0

5050.03005 3–3

Friendly 232013-10-27 [204] USA San Francisco New Zealand 90 Start1.17 unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5350.04005 4–1

Friendly 23.1 note2014-02-13 [206] USA Atlanta Russia 90 Start1.165 Brian, Morgan Morgan Brian

5550.05005 5–0

5850.08005 8–0

Friendly 242014-03-10 [208] POR Albufeira Denmark 37.

on 54' ( off O'Reilly)

1.168 Carli Lloyd

4950.03005 3–4

4850.03005 3–5

Algarve Cup: Group B 252014-04-06 [209] USA Commerce China PR 24.

on 67' ( off Holiday)

1.178 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Friendly 262014-08-20 [210] USA Cary Switzerland {{{4}}}.

off 78' ( on Brian)

1.13 Sydney Leroux

5150.01005 1–0

5350.04005 4–1

Friendly 272014-09-19 [211] USA Rochester Mexico 45.

off 45' ( on Wambach)

1.137 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5450.04005 4–0

Friendly 282014-10-17 [212] USA Chicago Guatemala 90. Start1.166 unassisted

5500.05005 5–0

5500.05005 5–0

World Cup qualifier: Group A 292014-12-14 [213] Brazil Brasilia Brazil 64.

off 64' ( on Press)

1.19 Abby Wambach

5250.01005 2–0

4950.02005 2–3

Tournament of Brasilia 302015-06-08 [214] CAN Winnipeg Australia 87.

off 87' ( on Brian)

2.112unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

3–1

World Cup: Group D 312.278 Lloyd, Carli Carli Lloyd

5250.03005 3–1

322017-07-31 [215] USA San Diego Brazil 91.

off 91' ( on Williams)

1.185 Christen Press

5250.02005 3–3

5950.09005 4–3

2017 Tournament of Nations 332017-08-03 [216] USA Carson Japan 73.

off 73' ( on Leroux)

1.112 Christen Press

5250.02005 1–0

5950.09005 3–0

2017 Tournament of Nations
Note
  1. This goal was initially credited to Rapinoe in the Match report. It has since been added to Morgan Brian's total, and removed from Rapinoe's total.

Honors and awards

Following the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Rapinoe's hometown of Redding honored her with a parade and named September 10 "Megan Rapinoe Day." [29] She received the Harry Glickman Professional Female Athlete of the Year award at the 60th annual Oregon Sports Awards held on February 12, 2012. [30] On October 25, 2012, she was one of ten female soccer players shortlisted for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. [115] The same year, she was named a finalist for Sports Illustrated's Most Inspiring Performers of 2012. [30] Rapinoe was awarded the Board of Directors Award by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center on November 10, 2012, for bringing awareness to LGBT people in sports. [30] [118]

In March 2013, Rapinoe was named Player of the Tournament at the 2013 Algarve Cup which the U.S. won. She tallied a goal and assist in two games played. [30] After scoring two goals and serving one assist during a 4–1 win over the Chicago Red Stars on July 25, 2013, she was named NWSL Player of the Week by the media for Week 16 of the 2013 NWSL season. [30]

In December 2014, Rapinoe was inducted into the Shasta County Sports Hall Of Fame along with several other athletes from Shasta County including Ryan O'Callaghan and Ricky Ray. [30] [30]

In 2015, she was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. [30]

Also in 2015, she was named NWSL Player of the Week for Week 2 of the 2015 NWSL season. [31]

Personal life

On July 2, 2012, Rapinoe came out as a lesbian in an interview with Out magazine, in which she revealed that she had been in a relationship with Australian football player Sarah Walsh since 2009. [31] [31] After approximately five years together, Rapinoe and Walsh ended their relationship in 2013. Rapinoe later dated Sub Pop recording artist Sera Cahoone. [31] Rapinoe and Cahoone announced their engagement in August 2015. [31] In January 2017, Rapinoe stated their wedding plans were on hold. [31] On July 20, 2017, Seattle Storm player Sue Bird and Rapinoe confirmed that they had been dating since fall of 2016. [31]

Philanthropy

Rapinoe has done philanthropic work for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the United States Olympic Committee. [31] [31] [31] In 2013, she became an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization that focuses on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports. [32]

In September 2017, Rapinoe and U.S. teammate Alex Morgan were part of a group of soccer players who signed up for the "Common Goal" campaign created by Juan Mata of Manchester United. As participants in the campaign, players donate 1% of their individual wages in support of other soccer-related charities. Rapinoe and Morgan were the first two women players to sign on to the campaign. [32]

Endorsements

Rapinoe has signed endorsement deals with Nike and Samsung. [32] [32] She has appeared in multiple commercials for Nike. [32] [32] In 2013, she appeared in advertisements for the clothing company Wildfang and began a partnership with medical device company, DJO Global. [32] [32] In 2016, she appeared in television commercials and print advertisements for Vitamin Water. [32] The same year, she was featured in a Nike commercial starring Cristiano Ronaldo. [32]

Rapinoe was featured on the cover of the March 2013 edition of Curve . [33] She was profiled in August 6, 2012, edition of Sports Illustrated , [33] and the July 2012 edition of Out . [33] The April 11, 2013, edition of The New York Times featured an article about her experiences in France, with the national team, and coming out publicly before the 2012 Olympics. [150] In July 2014, she was featured in the ESPN's The Body Issue . [33]

Television and film

Rapinoe has made appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , The Today Show , The Rachel Maddow Show and Good Morning America . [33] [33] [33] In 2012, she appeared in an ESPN feature called Title IX is Mine: USWNT . [33] She was the focus of a Fox Soccer feature entitled, Fox Soccer Exclusive: Megan Rapinoe in November 2012. [33]

In 2016, Rapinoe starred with teammates Hope Solo and Crystal Dunn in a docu-series called Keeping Score broadcast by Fullscreen. [34] The episodes follow the athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics and addresses issues such as equal pay and racism. [34]

Video games

Rapinoe was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series starting in FIFA 16 , the first time women players were included in the game. [34] In September 2015, she was ranked by EA Sports as the #2 women's player following teammate Carli Lloyd. [34]

Ticker tape parade, White House honor, and corn maze

Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Rapinoe and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City. [34] Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio. [34] In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House, [34] and the president made note of the Northern California farm that had built a corn maze in the shape of Rapinoe's face. [34]

National anthem controversy

On September 4, 2016, during a game in Chicago against the Red Stars, Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who refused to stand during the anthem to protest what he calls racial injustice and minority oppression. [34] She said at the time she planned to continue to kneel. [34] Later that week on September 7, the Washington Spirit uncharacteristically played the national anthem prior to the teams taking the field, indicating that they did not want to "subject our fans and friends to the disrespect we feel such an act would represent". In an additional statement, the Spirit management said "to willingly allow anyone to hijack this tradition that means so much to millions of Americans and so many of our own fans for any cause would effectively be just as disrespectful as doing it ourselves." Rapinoe expressed displeasure with this move saying "it was incredibly distasteful, four days before one of the worst tragedies in our country, to say I tried to hijack this event." [35] She continued the protest on September 15, 2016 during the national team game against Thailand. [35] U.S. Soccer then issued a statement saying: "Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer's National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men's and Women's National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played." [35]

See also