Regardless of the result of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, this was always going to be Megan Rapinoe’s last run with the United States Women’s National Team. What she didn’t know, though, is that it would end in abject failure, with the U.S. being sent home prematurely in a loss to Sweden on Sunday morning.
The U.S. National Team legend had a chance to essentially lock up the match with a penalty kick, but she missed. Rapinoe, who was subbed on for co-captain Alex Morgan in the 99th minute of Sunday morning’s match, referred to her uncharacteristic miss as a “sick joke.”
With the United States up 3-2 in penalties against Sweden, Megan Rapinoe had a chance to put the USWNT up 4-2, but her shot went over the post to the right, not even on the frame – the goalkeeper didn’t even have to attempt to save it.
While she was laughing in the moment, seemingly stunned by her miss, Rapinoe broke down in tears after the final whistle. This wasn’t how anyone envisioned that Rapinoe’s tenure with the USWNT would end. But soccer can be a cruel sport sometimes.
And while it can be cruel, it’s worth noting the impact that Rapinone had on the game herself.
She reflected on her impact on the USWNT after the heartbreaking loss, via Fox Sports.
“I think this team has always fought for so much more and that’s been the most rewarding part for me…To know that we’ve used our really special talent to do something that’s changed the world forever.”
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2023
Rapinoe was part of a generation of women’s soccer players that have helped change how the world views the sport. Though, what’s next after her final act in a USWNT uniform was a missed penalty, remains to be seen.
[Fox Sports on Twitter]