Megan Rapinoe honored by team OL Reign in front of record NWSL crowd of 34,130

Oct 8, 2023, 2:20 PM

megan rapinoe...

Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign in action against the Washington Spirit on during her last home regular-season NWSL match at Lumen Field on October 06, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — It’s rare that Megan Rapinoe is at a loss for words.

The retiring star was honored by club team OL Reign on Friday night in front of a National Women’s Soccer League record crowd of 34,130 fans, many of whom wore pink wigs in her honor.

“I do know my impact but it’s one thing to know it, and another thing to really feel it and see it. To see some of the signs and the pink wigs and see what that means to people,” she said. “It’s hard to put just this deep sense of gratitude and joy and thankfulness for being able to have a moment like this into words.”

With her family and fiancé Sue Bird looking on, Rapinoe started for the Reign in a scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit. Lumen Field’s public address system played “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” when she took to the field with her teammates.

More on Megan Rapinoe: Seattle soccer star Megan Rapinoe takes final bow with USWNT

Rapinoe had already played her final match with the U.S. national team last month in Chicago, but Friday marked her final regular-season home game for the Reign.

“I don’t ever think we took it for granted our 11 years here one bit. I think that’s how Pinoe lives, she lives with this joy, she lives for those moments, and she really pushes us to also do that,” teammate Lauren Barnes said. “I think it’s undeniable the positive impact she’s had.”

A video played before the match included well-wishes from such luminaries as Abby Wambach, Ken Griffey Jr., Magic Johnson and Billie Jean King.

The 38-year-old Rapinoe has played in 114 regular-season games for the Reign and scored 49 goals. Her club career isn’t quite over: Next week the Reign wrap up the season on the road against the Chicago Red Stars.

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Megan Rapinoe honored by team OL Reign in front of record NWSL crowd of 34,130