When the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) captivated the world during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Megan Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain, was front and center both on and off the pitch.
The Olympic gold medalist, two-time Olympian and two-time FIFA World Cup champion, is a driving force for change. It was during the lead up to the tournament, the spirited matches in France, the highly-debated goal celebrations, and the animated media scrums where Rapinoe cemented her legacy as one of the greatest soccer players to ever play for the USWNT and champion for equal rights.
Heading into the 2019 FIFA World Cup, all eyes were on the USWNT after the team filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The stakes were high. When the tournament kicked off, the athletes were motivated to win, and fans around the world were inspired.
Rapinoe and her teammates rose to the occasion, leaving their mark on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. With six goals and three assists in seven games, Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Ball as the most outstanding player at the World Cup, while also earning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer. She scored the team’s only two goals against Spain in the round of 16 and went on to do the same against France in the quarterfinals.
While the World Cup may have provided the biggest stage for Rapinoe to shine, her performance in France followed an impressive season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), during which she played for the Reign FC in Seattle. During the 2018 season, she scored seven goals with six assists, finishing fourth in the league for assists. She was also named the July NWSL Forward of the Month and announced as the 2018 NWSL Best XI. In addition, Rapinoe helped win the 2018 CONCACAF Women’sChampionship with the USA.
Rapinoe’s reach goes far beyond sport. From the “U-S-A! Equal pay!” chant that permeated the sold-out stadiums to the team’s on‐field statements and the all-out celebration of female athletes with a ticker tape parade through New York City, Rapinoe continues to be at the helm of the conversation.