Megan Rapinoe, forward for the US Women’s National Soccer Team, is instantly recognizable on the field for her energetic style of play and, of course, for her iconic blond (and now pink!) pixie cut. A figure on the international stage for 13 years, Megan has helped the USWNT reach the highest echelons of the sport, winning the World Cup in 2015 and the Olympics in 2012 — and has gone through some rough defeats as well. This June, the 33-year-old will be back on the field once again for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, ready to defend the title she was instrumental in winning four years ago. (Here’s when and how to watch all the USWNT’s games.)
Megan plays professionally for the Seattle Reign and went to the University of Portland, where she won the national title and helped the team to an undefeated season in her freshman year. She made her USWNT debut in 2006 and, despite being sidelined by knee injuries in 2008 and 2009, returned to help the US become runners-up at the 2011 World Cup and win the 2012 Olympics. Though Megan is known more for her assists than her goals, she scored twice in a dramatic Olympics semifinal match against Canada and eventually got the assist on Carli Lloyd’s game-winning goal in the final.
Aside from her on-field heroics, Megan is also conscious of her and her teammates’ roles as role models for girls and women in all fields. The USWNT is currently suing the US Soccer Federation for gender discrimination, addressing the pay gap between the US men’s and women’s team and striking a chord across the world with women who deal with similar inequality. “Seek out other women,” Megan told POPSUGAR. “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*ck it. It’s our time.”
Read on for all the fun facts you need to know about this badass player.