Megan Rapinoe isn’t hanging up the boots just yet. Following the lead of her fiancée, the USWNT icon is sticking around for at least one more season. Rapinoe re-signed a one-year deal to stay with the OL Reign in the NWSL, the club announced on Wednesday.
OL Reign Re-Signs Forward Megan Rapinoe to One-Year Deal
— OL Reign (@OLReign) January 26, 2022
There was speculation Rapinoe might retire after last summer’s Olympics, especially after Carli Lloyd retired following the 2021 NWSL campaign. The next major international competition is the 2023 Women’s World Cup, by which time Rapinoe will be 38. By re-signing, we can only assume she plans to continue to play for the USWNT until she announces otherwise.
Rapinoe re-upped her contract with the Reign, where she’s played since 2014. Last season Rapinoe was superb, tallying six goals and three assists in 12 matches for the Reign. She added 10 goals for the USWNT in 2021, including two in the Olympic bronze-medal match.
“Megan joined our club in 2013 already a world-class talent, and over the last decade has done the work on and off the field to transform herself into a global icon who now transcends the sport,” OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore said on the club’s website. “Beyond the direct impact her talent and creativity bring to the team, her confidence and swagger is infectious — it makes every player around her better. Megan demands the best from herself and from every person in the organization, pushing us all to a higher level. We are excited to see her on the pitch at Lumen Field this season.”
(The Reign will play at the 68,740-seat NFL stadium Lumen Field in 2022, sharing the venue with the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders. The move back to Seattle after spending three seasons in Tacoma, Washington, will see the venue soft-capped at 10,000 seats for Reign matches.)
Rapinoe will now join WNBA legend Sue Bird, with whom she became engaged in 2020, in giving it one more year in 2022. Bird re-signed with the Seattle Storm for a 19th WNBA season earlier this month, so the couple will be able to stay together in Seattle.
#1moreyear pic.twitter.com/COFVAyBlDN— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) January 13, 2022
OL Reign has been busy this week.
Defender Lauren Barnes also signed a one-year deal to stay with the Reign, including a one-year option. Goalkeeper Laurel Ivory, goalkeeper Claudia Dickey and defender Alyssa Malonson all signed one-year contracts. Finally, Bethany Balcer was given a three-year contract extension with an option to extend through the 2025 season. More importantly, the 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year changed jersey numbers to be No. 8 — or BB8. Hopefully she gets more than a Chipotle gift card in compensation this time.
OL Reign did not disclose the financial terms of any of these deals, “per league and club policy.”
The 2021 semifinalist Reign are scheduled to begin preseason training on Feb. 1, assuming there isn’t a lockout/player strike as the NWSL and NWSLPA attempt to work out the league’s first CBA. We might see Rapinoe back in action with the USWNT as early as Feb. 17 for the 2022 SheBelieves Cup.