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USWNT Sep 25, 2023

Megan Rapinoe plays final game of USWNT career in win over South Africa

CHICAGO – The U.S. Women’s National Team beat South Africa 2-0 in a match that bid farewell to U.S. Soccer legend and international soccer icon Megan Rapinoe.

Rapinoe’s 203rd and final international match saw goals from forward Trinity Rodman and midfielder Emily Sonnett to send off one of the most important players in women’s soccer history in front of more than 25,000 fans at Soldier Field.

Coming off a 3-0 win against South Africa just three days ago, the USA immediately took control of the match, keeping the visitors on the back foot for the entire match and creating danger right from the jump. The Americans created a series of chances in the early minutes from forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Lindsey Horan while the team consistently looked to find Rapinoe on the flank as her teammates tried to get her one last goal.

It was not to be, despite a blistering free kick from Rapinoe just before she exited that flew just over the cross bar, but the U.S. created the opening goal in the 18th minute. Morgan did incredibly well to beat her defender to a long ball over the top on the right side with a clean shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. She then lifted a cross toward the back post that Rodman buried with an incredible volley to beat goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.

The USA doubled its lead just four minutes into the second half as Rapinoe took a corner from the left side. The South Africa ‘keeper punched the ball out, but not far enough, and Sonnett met the falling ball with a header that looped over the defenders on the goal line and settled into the back of the net from eight yards out.

Following that free kick which almost made for a perfect ending, Rapinoe, who captained the USA in her final game, came off the field in the 54th minute to a roaring standing ovation for the last time as a USWNT player.

Rapinoe’s final match comes 17 years and 63 days after making her international debut on July 23, 2006. Only three players have had longer USWNT careers: Kristine Lilly (23 years, 94 days), Christie Pearce (18 years, 204 days) and Mia Hamm (17 years, 127 days). The 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion finished her career ranked 10th in USWNT history with 63 goals and is tied with Abby Wambach for third in assists with 73.

The U.S. nearly scored again five minutes later as Rodman, who had been an absolute menace in attack and on defense the entire match with her speed and tenacity, received the ball on the left wing and cut inside, firing a powerful, curling shot toward the top right corner that bounced off crossbar at the upper V and back into play. Horan also had a couple of decent looks toward goal but was unfortunate not to find the back of the net.

While the night marked the end of one international career, it also marked the start of another as forward Mia Fishel earned her first cap after coming into the match for Alex Morgan in the 65th minute. Fishel became the 253rd player to appear for the USWNT and the third player to debut for the USA in 2023, joining Savannah DeMelo and M.A. Vignola, earned her first cap in the first game of this series against South Africa on Sept. 21.

The USA would eventually out-shoot the visitors 19-0 after allowing just one shot on goal in the first game of the series against a South African team that made history by advancing to the knockout rounds at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


USA – Trinity Rodman (Alex Morgan), 18th minute: Krueger played a ball over the top on the right side to Morgan, who did well to win a race against her marker and body her off the ball. Morgan sent a cross toward the back post, where Rodman buried it with a powerful volley from six yards out. USA 1, RSA 0

USA – Emily Sonnett, 49th minute: Rapinoe took a corner from the left side that the ‘keeper did well to punch out, but Sonnet attacked the rebound with a header that sailed into the back of the net from eight yards out. USA 2, RSA 0


  • Trinity Rodman’s goal was the sixth of her international career goal, fourth of 2023 and gave her goals in back-to-back games for the first time in her USWNT career.
  • The match marked the second game in a row that Rodman scored off an assist from Alex Morgan.
  • Morgan’s assist to set up Rodman’s goal was her team-leading fifth assist of the year and the 52nd of her international career.
  • With her goal, Rodman took sole possession of second on the team in scoring this year. Mallory Swanson still leads the team with seven goals, followed by Rodman and then Lynn Williams and Lindsey Horan with three each.
  • Morgan’s five assists are her most in a calendar year for the USWNT since 2013.
  • Sonnett’s goal was the second of her career. She is the 12th different player to score for the USWNT this year and the third defender to score, joining Alana Cook and Emily Fox.
  • Casey Murphyearned her 15th cap as she made her fourth start of 2023, and first since April 11 when she recorded a clean sheet against the Republic of Ireland. Murphy has now posted a shutout in each of her four appearances this year for the USWNT, those coming against New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and tonight. She has 11 career clean sheets.
  • Longtime Chicago Red Star and Naperville, Illinois native Casey Kruegermade the start as she earned her 40th cap with the USWNT. This was the 25th career start for Krueger and her first since October 21, 2021. Krueger returned to the field for the USWNT on April 11, seeing her return to the field following the birth of her son, Caleb, in July of 2022.


Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. South Africa
Date: September 24, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
Attendance: 25,622
Kickoff: 5:37 p.m. ET (4:37 p.m. CT)
Weather: 72 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F

USA                            1          1          2
RSA                            0          0          0

USA – Trinity Rodman (Alex Morgan)          18th minute
USA – Emily Sonnett                                      49


USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 20-Casey Krueger (6-Lynn Williams, 73), 4-Naomi Girma (11-Alana Cook, 46), 12-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn (23-Emily Fox, 65); 17-Andi Sullivan, 14-Emily Sonnett (22-Savannah DeMelo, 64), 10-Lindsey Horan; 25-Trinity Rodman, 13-Alex Morgan (28-Mia Fishel, 65), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Capt.) (16-Midge Purce, 54)

Substitutes not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 2-Ashley Sanchez, 9-Alyssa Thompson, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 26-Jaedyn Shaw, 27-Sam Coffey

Head coach: Twila Kilgore

RSA: 16-Andile Dlamini; 2-Lebogang Ramalepe, 14-Tiisetso Makhubela, 3-Bongeka Gamede, 7-Karabo Dhlamini (5-Fikile Magama, 67); 6-Noxolo Cesane (9-Gabriela Salgado, 67), 10-Linda Motlhalo, 20-Robyn Moodaly (17-Melinda Kgadiete, 53), 23-Wendy Shongwe (19-Kholosa Biyana, 81); 11-Thembi Kgatlana (Capt.), 13-Sinoxolo Cesane (22-Nomvula Kgoale, 53)

Substitutes not used: 1-Kaylin Swart, 21-Katlego Moletsane, 4-Faith Owusu, 12-Jermaine Seoposenwe, 15-Lonathemba Mhlongo

Head coach: Desiree Ellis   

Stats Summary: USA / RSA

Shots: 19 / 0
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 5 / 0
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 7
Offside: 6 / 0

Misconduct Summary:



Referee: Carly Shaw-MacLaren (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabrielle Lemieux (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Melissa Snedden (CAN)
4th Official: Becky Pagan (USA)

Woman of the Match: Trinity Rodman

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