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Why did Megan Rapinoe leave her final game early?

The USWNT icon did not get the ending that she had planned. Her glittering career had a premature finale as she was forced off minutes into farewell game.

Why did Megan Rapinoe leave her final game early?
Orlando RamirezUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Megan Rapinoe was substituted just three minutes into her farewell match after suffering an injury in the early stages.

The USWNT icon was set to play the final game of her glittering career on Saturday night as OL Reign took on Gotham FC. The stands were packed to bid farewell to Rapinoe but she went down just minutes in due to a non-contact injury.

She was attended to on the field by members of the medical staff but she appeared resigned to her fate. With tears in her eyes she was helped to her feet and walked from the field of play for the last time.

Rapinoe receive a huge round of applause as her professional career came to a close. Gotham defender Ali Kreiger, a close friend of Rapinoe’s, gave the 38-year-old a huge as she departed the field.

Kreiger is also retiring after tonight’s game and the brief moment between them was a touching moment between key players synonymous with a hugely successful period of women’s soccer in the United States.

Why is Megan Rapinoe playing for OL Reign?

Although she played her final game for USWNT last month, she pledged to complete the season with club side OL Reign of the NWSL. Last Sunday they booked their place in the NWSL title match with a narrow win over San Diego Wave.

The final against Gotham FC will be Rapinoe’s final game of professional soccer, and a chance for her to add yet more silverware to her vast trophy collection.

Megan Rapinoe gasps after picking up an innocuous early injury against Gotham FC.
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Megan Rapinoe gasps after picking up an innocuous early injury against Gotham FC.ROBYN BECKAFP

However her chances of a dream ending took a knock when she went down just minutes into the game. Under no real pressure from an opposition she appeared to misstep and tumbled to the floor, grabbing her right ankle.

It is not the ending that she would have wished for, but the legendary USWNT star has now hung up her boots for good.