Who Is Megan Rapinoe? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Captain And Forward Competing In The World Cup

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Who Is Megan Rapinoe? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Captain And Forward Competing In The World Cup

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has been kicking major butt! The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is occurring from June 11th to 20th, and includes 24 teams.

So far, the United States team won a 13-0 victory against Thailand, setting a new record in the tournament’s history for the largest margin of victory! But for the National Soccer Team, this isn’t their first rodeo nor is it their first taste of winning. They are the most successful team in international women’s soccer; they’ve won three Women’s World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and 10 Algarve Cups.

Most recently, though, the team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation, citing unequal pay to the male teams. The lawsuit says the team is being paid just 38 percent per game compared to the men’s team, even though the women’s team has generated more profit and revenue for the Federation, and have played more games.

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But who are the women on the team, and what do we know about them as individuals, as well as team players? Particularly, who is Megan Rapinoe, a captain and teammate who has made headlines in the last few weeks for her personal views?

1. She has a twin.

Rachael Rapinoe is just one of Megan’s five siblings, and the two have much more in common than just being related. The twins played soccer together while they attended the University of Portland and run a business with one another called Rapinoe SC, a “soccer and performance training business and a lifestyle apparel business.”

Rachael is also a pro soccer player. She joined the WPS Draft in 2009, and has played for the Chicago Red Stars, Philadelphia Independence, MagicJack, Sydney FC in the Australian W-League, and the Olympique Lyonnais in the French league. She’s played with Seattle Reign FC since 2013.

2. Her career is more than just impressive.

For the last 13 years, Megan has played for the US Women's National Soccer Team, where she plays the forward position and is known for her assists rather than goals. She’s been with the team when they won the World Cup in 2015 and the Olympics in 2012.

She also currently serves as one of the captains alongside Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd. After Abby Wambach retired in 2016, the team struggled a bit with finding new leadership. “It took us a little time to find our footing and figure that out and really learn how to step into that role, taking on those different responsibilities. And coming to the realization that if you want it to be done, then just do it,” she told PopSugar at the time.

3. She’s dating another athlete.

Rapinoe has been dating Seattle Storm player Sue Bird since the fall of 2016. The couple met at a sponsor event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. But Bird isn’t just any basketball player; she has four Olympic gold medals and two WNBA titles. Recently, the couple was featured in the ESPN Body Issue, becoming the first gay couple to appear on the cover!

Before dating Bird, Rapinoe was in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh and was engaged to Sera Cahoone, but called things off in 2017.

4. She recently dyed her hair pink.

Before the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Rapinoe changed her noticeable blond hair to a shade of light pink. She does have a knack for fashion, after all.

Said Bird of Rapinoe’s style, “Megan is very much into fashion. And I wouldn’t just call it clothing. She’s into everything — clothing, bags, shoes. She’s on top of the new stuff for sure. I love sneakers. My storage room is 75 percent sneakers.”

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5. She has quite the fitness regimen.

In fact, she eats incredibly healthy and makes fitness and diet a major part of her life.

“It’s funny. I don't feel like I have any superstitions or anything like that but I actually do the same things every game day. There are certain things that I need to eat to get ready for a game,” Rapinoe said in an interview with PopSugar. And for the soccer star, it means cutting out artificial ingredients because they “just really mess with me, so I'm not going to introduce that on game day.”

She’s also big on planks. “Abs are made in the kitchen. A good plank, though, I love a good plank. I don’t do a lot of sit-ups or... I actually do zero sit-ups or crunches or anything like that. I do plank,” she revealed.

6. She’s an advocate and has been protesting the National Anthem.

After Colin Kaepernick departed the NFL and the 49ers due to kneeling in protest during the National Anthem, it inspired other athletes to do the same. Rapinoe is one of them. And before the opening match against Thailand, she stood silently during the “Star-Spangled Banner.” She’s the first white player to kneel.

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In an interview with Yahoo Sports in May, she called herself a “walking protest” against the Trump administration and that her actions are a big middle finger to Trump.

“I feel like it’s kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent it. Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not. So it’s kind of a good ‘F you' to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towars people who don’t look exactly like him. Which, God help us if we all looked like him. Scary. Really scary... Colin Kaepernick very much inspired me, and inspired an entire nation, and still does, to actually think about these things,” she said.

She also added how her actions are in solidarity with Kaepernick:

“It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now. I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country...

Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

7. She’s also a role model.

Along with her teammates, Rapinoe is a voice for young girls and women, in all fields of athletics. In addition to her team suing the U.S. Soccer Federation, she’s spoken out about the inequality women face and offered some advice:

“Seek out other women. There are so many women that are going through the same things and I think oftentimes women are sort of siloed off, whether it’s in their jobs or in this or that. But you have so much support around you, so really take motivation and inspiration from that. And just f*** it. It’s our time.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.