NWSL stars bow out post-Cup match

Players Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz have both recently announced their retirements.
Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz following the U.S.s loss to Sweden in the 2023 Womens World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz following the U.S.’s loss to Sweden in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Bleacher Report

As a female soccer player, I’ve watched women who inspired both myself and an entire generation of female athletes be talked down upon and paid unfairly.

But circumstances now are far better than they have been in the past, largely due to these proud female players fighting back.

Two of these players, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, have recently decided to proudly bow out of professional soccer and announced their retirement following the Women’s World Cup.

For many, this was an unsurprising but disappointing announcement.

Rapinoe, who began her professional career in 2009 with the Chicago Red Stars, will wrap up her fourteen-year career on Oct. 6 with her final regular season game in the OL Reign’s battle against the Washington Spirit at Lumen Field in Seattle, WA.

“People may think that my career coming to an end would bring sadness, but when I think back on the past 30-plus years of playing this game, my overriding emotions are joy and gratitude,” Rapinoe told the U.S. Women’s team (USWNT). “It’s been an unbelievable ride. It will be special to have this one last opportunity to play for my country in front of our incredible fans and get the chance to thank my teammates and everyone who has had an impact on me as a person and player over the years.”

“She’s just a great player that’s done so much for this program, so much for soccer in general,” teammate Alex Morgan told the Times in regards to the women’s World Cup. “I’m just really happy for her that she’s going to go out with a bang, hopefully.”

Ertz, who will be wrapping up a 9-year career on Sept. 21 in Cincinnati against South Africa, is also pleased looking back at her career.

“I think you hope you’ll leave an impact on the field,” Ertz said to Sports Illustrated. “I would never lie and say that didn’t feel good. I think as a player you always want to leave a part of you into this game because you sacrifice so much.”

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