OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe ended her National Women’s Soccer League goal drought in some style –– scoring a sublime free-kick against Portland to end the Thorns’ 11 game win streak.
The US captain hadn’t scored in the competition for 1047 days before last night. The 35-year-old missed all of the COVID-interrupted 2020 season as she chose to spend it with her fiancée Sue Bird and struggled with injuries and World Cup commitments in the seasons prior.
Her goal last night, though, was vintage Rapinoe. Renowned for her free-kicks already, including a match-winning strike against France in 2019, this was up there with the very best.
Struck with bend, dip and pin-point accuracy, there was nothing the despairing Adrianna Franch could do to prevent the equaliser.
Shirley Cruz then struck just five minutes later, as the away side secured a crucial 2-1 win.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Rapinoe told of how much she enjoyed the moment and the game itself.
“I haven’t been able to enjoy a lot of football lately. I’ve had a couple of nagging injuries and this and that — not the minutes that I want. So to be able to play in such a big game like this and score a goal, I had so much fun today. I always have so much fun playing here.”
Despite a long time without scoring in the league, the former Ballon d’Or winner has still been prolific for the national side. Indeed, five goals in her last four games has taken her tally for the US to 59 and suggests she is far from done just yet.
With OL Reign scheduled to meet the Washington Spirit in their next game, don’t be surprised to see last night’s long overdue return to form turn into another scoring streak.