Megan Rapinoe thinks U.S. team will miss her leadership

"I think it's going to take a little bit of time."
Megan Rapinoe Jun 27, 2023; Carson, California, USA; USWNT forward Megan Rapinoe during Women’s World Cup media day at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For more than 17 years, Megan Rapinoe has been an integral part of the United States Women’s National Team, serving as a leader for the team especially in her more veteran years. But now that she’s retiring, she’s leaving a little bit of a vacancy in the team’s leadership. But she sounds confident someone will fill it.

During an interview following her final match with the team on Sunday, Megan Rapinoe said that while she knows her absence will leave a void, she thinks there are players on the team prepared to step up.

“I think just my personality and how long I’ve been on the team and obviously being in a leadership role, I mean, obviously, that leaves something,” Rapinoe said according to ESPN. “But I feel like we have made it a point as older players to talk about that with younger players and to not just kind of leave a vacuum. So I think it’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Rapinoe acknowledged that despite everything she’s meant to this team, the USWNT will eventually move on without her and continue to be successful.

“But that’s kind of the beauty of this team also is that next camp will come, and the roster will be different and the focus will shift immediately,” Rapinoe said. “And now they got to go win an Olympic gold medal, which we haven’t done in a long time.”

We’ll have to see how the USWNT performs without Rapinoe leading the way for the future.

“I think they’re obviously super motivated, and I like to think we’ve prepared them well to move forward,” Rapinoe said. “We’ll always be there to help when we can, but it’s their team now.”