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Female soccer players in the United States have grown in leaps and bounds, recording more success for the country than their male counterparts. Megan Rapinoe is one of the many U.S professional soccer players who have put the country on the world map as far as female soccer is concerned. Known for her crafty style of play and speed, Rapinoe is a member of the U.S women national soccer team that won silver at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, gold at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Megan’s full name is Megan Anna Rapinoe and she is one of the six children born to her parents, Jim and Denise Rapinoe. Her twin sister’s name is Rachael. Also a soccer player, Rachael has played for the U.S women’s national under-23 soccer team and Iceland’s Stjarnan Women.
How Megan Rapinoe Began Playing Soccer
Her father played a huge role in Megan’s decision to become a professional soccer player. She spent most of her early years playing with the various teams her father coached. She attended Foothill High School, but rather than play soccer there, Rapinoe chose to play for the Elk Grove Pride (now Sacramento Pride) of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
In school, she competed in track both as a freshman and a sophomore. She also played basketball and was always on the honor list every semester. As such, it wasn’t a surprise when Megan Rapinoe was named in an All-American list by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and also by Parade.
In 1999, Megan participated in the under-14 Northern California Olympic Development Program (ODP) and in 2002, she also among the regional ODP team. Meanwhile, she played for Elk Grove Pride until 2005.
Highlights of Her Professional Soccer Career
After high school, Megan Rapinoe and her twin sister headed to the University of Portland, Oregon where they played for the Portland Pilots on full scholarships. She was also part of the soccer team that represented the U.S at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, where they finished third.
In 2009, she was selected 2nd overall by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2009 WPS Draft to play in the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). She was later named among the league’s All-Star Team and went on to participate in the 2009 WPS All-Star Game against Swedish Damallsvenskan champions, Umeå IK.
2011 came and Megan Rapinoe signed with the Australian W-League team, Sydney FC, as a guest player in two of their matches. The next year, Megan and national team members (Alex Morgan, Stephanie Cox, Hope Solo, and Sydney Leroux) played with the Seattle Sounders Women as they prepared for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was with the Olympique Lyonnais for six months that spanned from 2013 to 14, and after her time with the French side, she signed with Seattle Reign FC.
Major Achievements at International Level
At the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, it was Rapinoe’s amazing cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the quarterfinals match against Brazil that brought about the equalizer goal which eventually led to the U.S winning the game after a penalty shootout.
The following year at the 2012 London Olympics, Megan scored all three goals that got the U.S the gold medal at the Olympics, she also became the first player (male/female) to ever score an Olimpico at an Olympic Games.
Megan Rapinoe was in an imperious form for the USA at the 2019 FIFA Women World Cup. She finished as joint top scorer with six goals alongside teammate Alex Morgan and England’s Ellen White. Her performances were crucial to the US team defense of their title and in the process, they became the second team after Germany to retain the World Cup. On a personal note, Megan was named the tournament’s best player.
Megan Rapinoe’s Relationship with Sarah Walsh
In a 2012 interview with Out magazine, Rapinoe came out as a lesbian and revealed she had been in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh since 2009. After being together for five years, the relationship ended for reasons neither party has explained to the media.
After the breakup, Megan dated singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone. The duo announced their engagement in August 2015 but in January 2017, Megan Rapinoe revealed that their wedding plans were on hold.
Is She Dating Sue Bird?
Later in 2017, Seattle Storm player Sue Bird revealed she is gay and that Megan is her girlfriend. Rapinoe would later confirm that they had been dating since the fall of 2016.
Megan and Bird first met during the summer, at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics. As both of them played for Seattle-based teams, it was easy for them to strike up a proper friendship after the Olympics. By September, they had started dating.
Sue is a point guard for the Seattle Storm while Megan plays for Reign FC. Megan attends Seattle Storm games regularly to cheer for her partner from the stands.