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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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A Farewell to Rapinoe and Krieger: The End of an Era

Photo+from+Gotham+FC
Photo from Gotham FC

This past Saturday, soccer fans said goodbye to not one, but two US Soccer legends, as they both played their final game in the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League Championship. Megan Rapinoe (Portland Thorns), who left the game early due to an injury, played against Ali Krieger (Gotham FC). The game ended with a 2-1 win for Gotham FC.

Megan Rapinoe played on a variety of professional club teams throughout her entire career, but has played for OL Reign for the past ten or so years. She first played for the USWNT in 2006 when she played against Ireland. Since then, she has gone on to have 203 appearances, won two world cups, and scored 63 goals and gave 73 assists while playing for the USWNT. In the 2019 world cup, she was honored with both the Golden Boot (given to the player that scored the most goals in the World Cup) and the Golden Ball (given to the best player of the World Cup). Along with her success as a professional soccer player, she is also well known for being a political activist. In 2016, Rapinoe knelt during the National Anthem at a Red Stars game. The reason that she knelt during the National Anthem was to show support for Colin Kaepernick who did the same in order to protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. She did not stop there, continuing to kneel at games (including USWNT games) and when US Soccer rewrote its rules, requiring the players to stand for the national anthem, she participated in malicious compliance by refusing to sing the National Anthem or put her hand to her heart. She has been open about how, while she does not believe white people should be the leading voices on issues such as racial discrimination and police brutality, it is important for white people to support People of Color on these kinds of issues. She has also been an outspoken advocate of LGBTQIA+ organizations. Since coming out as gay in 2012, she has used her platform and international recognition to highlight issues facing LGBTQIA+ people. Along with protesting against the treatment People of Color face in this country and highlighting the struggles of LGBTQIA+ people, Rapinoe has also stood with the rest of her team, in suing US Soccer for not paying the USWNT (Women’s) players equal to the USMNT (Men’s) players. In 2022, the team came to an agreement with US Soccer. The deal made it so that soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay when competing in international matches and competitions and starting with the 2022 Men’s World Cup and 2023 Women’s World Cup. The money would be shared equally among the members of both of the National teams. She was also an outspoken opponent of the Trump Administration. Back when he was in office, Rapinoe was clear that if her team won the World Cup (which they did), she would never go to the White House as long as Trump was in office.

Before Ali Krieger played for Gotham FC (formerly Sky Blue FC) she played for a couple of different teams for the WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer) league, a disbanded professional women’s soccer league that existed prior to the NWSL. Along with playing in the WPS league, and eventually the NWSL league, she played internationally. She became one of the first American women to win the UEFA Women’s Cup when she played for FFC Frankfurt in 2007/2008. first played for the USWNT in 2008 when she played in the Four Nations Tournament against Canada. Since then, she has gone on to have 108 appearances, won two world cups, and scored 1 goal and gave 9 assists with the USWNT. Like Rapinoe, Ali Krieger has used her platform and international recognition to advocate for LGBTQIA+ people. Ali Krieger got married to her teammate, Ashlyn Harris, in 2019. In 2021 they adopted their first child, Sloane, and they announced the adoption of their second child, Ocean, in 2022. Since then, however, Ashlyn Harris has filed for divorce. There are plenty of rumors as to why, but no official statement has been released. But none of that has stopped her from going out with a bang! Ali Krieger finished off her career, helping lead Gotham FC to their first ever NWSL Championship win.

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Em Marlay-Wright, Staff Writer

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