Redding's Rapinoe gets second shot at the World Cup

Jun 3, 2015 9:20 PM by Ross Field

A local soccer superstar is ready for the sport's biggest stage. Megan Rapinoe, who attended Foothill High School, will take part in her second World Cup, which kicks off next week in Canada. Action News Now's Ross Field brings us her story.

Four years have passed since Megan Rapinoe suffered the most disappointing loss of her career in the World Cup final.

Japan celebrated that night, coming back to defeat the United States in a penalty kick shootout.

Rapinoe and her teammates were left to try and hold their heads high and begin processing the thought of what could have been.

"Pretty devastated obviously, losing the World Cup final. We have to keep our chins up," said Rapinoe, during an interview after the Cup concluded.

Since that somber ending, Rapinoe has been like every other soccer player who had the Cup within reach - wondering if she'll ever have another opportunity.

Now, once again, she stands on the brink of every footballer's dream. So, things are pretty good these days for the midfielder from Redding.

"I can't believe we're at the second one already, just feels like yesterday I was in my first one, so excited," Rapinoe said. "I feel like everyone's been talking about it for a whole year now and we're just under a week away. I can't wait to get up there, get the nerves out."

At 29-years-old, Rapinoe has had an amazing soccer career. She's captured a College National Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a long list of other accolades. Recently, she appeared in her 100th international game, becoming the 31st player to hit that milestone in U.S. women's soccer history. There's just one thing missing.

"It would be the absolute highlight to win the World Cup. I'm really proud of my career thus far and what I've been able to do, what this team has been able to do and the places I've been able to play, but this is the ultimate for me. For a footballer the World Cup is it," said Rapinoe.

And this time around she knows what to expect.

"I'm just more experienced on how the whole show works. It was super exciting the first go-round, but I want to win and that's my sole focus," added Rapinoe.

The United States kicks off the World Cup Monday, June 8th, against Australia in Group Play. Rapinoe and company have a big test ahead. Big name teams, like Japan, France, Brazil and Germany, but there are also some teams that could surprise.

"I think Nigeria could be kind of a sleeper team, I think someone like Switzerland, they have two world class players in my opinion, could make a run. It should be interesting. I think there's going to be a couple teams that will go far, sort of outside of the one's that pop to your head," said Rapinoe.

Should fortune fall her way, Rapinoe and her teammates will hoist the country's first World Cup trophy since 2003, while making up for the one that got away in 2011.

"I know I have family and a bunch of people who are going, so hopefully everyone rallies around it and I can bring something special home," said Rapinoe.


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