Megan Rapinoe Photo: Elsa Garrison/Getty Images

USA women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe made a major announcement Saturday. Rapinoe, who’s about to head to New Zealand for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, announced she is retiring from soccer at the end of this NWSL season.

The two-time FIFA World Cup champion and 2019 Ballon d’Or Féminin winner thanked several people for her success.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody, to you guys, to [U.S. women’s national team head coach] Vlatko (Andonovski), to U.S. Soccer, to literally everyone that I’ve played with, all of my coaches. I couldn’t just, like, never imagined where this beautiful game would’ve taken me. I feel so honored to be able to have represented this country and this federation for so many years. It’s truly been the greatest thing that I’ve ever done, something I’m so grateful for,” Rapinoe said during a news conference Saturday.

“I just want to be able to soak in every moment and share it with teammates and friends and family and share it with the rest of the world. I’m just really grateful to be able to do it in this way,” she concluded.

Rapinoe is not only an icon in her sport because of her play, but also because she was one of the first athletes to come out in support of the LBGTQ community.

Her openness about her sexuality opened the doors for other athletes, both male and female, to do the same.

Fans on social reacted to her retirement news with most wishing her well.

Rapinoe clearly will be missed, but her impact won’t be forgotten.

{Megan Rapinoe}

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.