Bethan Balcer, Megan Rapinoe for the OL Reign
Left: Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe Connects with Bethany Balcer for Gorgeous OL Reign Goal


OL Reign was able to come back from a 1-0 deficit to dispatch the Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on Friday night. That was all thanks to Megan Rapinoe. The 37-year-old American winger orchestrated a beautiful second half, assisting on the first, and scoring the second goal.

A Measure of Consistency

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It's typical to see MPinoe on the score sheet. "Megan Rapinoe scores" is as commonly seen in women's soccer as Alex Morgan hitting the back of the net for the U.S. Women in the Women's World Cup. I had the pleasure of witnessing Pinoe do it twice a couple of weeks back against NJ/NY Gotham at Lumen Field. The trickery, the footwork, and the connection she has with her teammates is truly on another level.


And nothing proves that more than her play on the lead-up to the equalizer. Instead of going up for the header, she lies in wait for the defender to make their play before pouncing. One step toward the ball forced the defender to make a play, but Rapinoe immediately stepped out and was able to chase it down.

Where many would either drop back or chase the ball and try to boot it further back to a deep-lying midfielder or defender, Megan approached the challenge with Erika Tymrak, and calmly flicked the ball over her head. She then was able to turn, take a touch, and whip the ball into the box out of the reach of the goalkeeper. Bethany Balcer seemed to have a psychic connection as she made the run as if she knew this is what Pinoe was going to do, allowing her to easily slot it home and be OL Reign's first goal scorer.

A Legend for Club and Country

Megan Rapinoe #15 of the OL Reign strikes the ball during a penalty kick during a game between Portland Thorns FC and OL Reign at Lumen Field

Photo by Jane Gershovich/ISI Photos/Getty Images

This isn't particularly surprising. Even as she heads toward the end of her career, Rapinoe is following the blueprint she has laid out for both club and country. Whether it be winning a bronze medal or gold medal at the Olympic Games with the USWNT, representing the USA in the World Cup, whipping in corner kicks, or netting an Olimpico goal, Megan Rapinoe has owned CONCACAF, NWSL, and Division 1 Féminine.

When thinking about women's football, Team USA is defined by the likes of Brandi Chastain, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe. However as the twilight of her career stares her in the face, it seems like the trending name in women's football is Australian Sam Kerr. The Chelsea and Matildas forward has taken the torch from Rapinoe on the world stage, but that does not mean that the American icon is finished.


We'll always remember her for big matches against the likes of Sweden and Japan for the national team. But she doesn't need to be competing in a bronze medal match or a World Cup quarterfinal, semifinal, or final in order to show how good she is.

Just ask Erika Tymrak. She got schooled by a supposedly aging Rapinoe just the other day.

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