Megan Rapinoe is retiring from soccer -- but she's got one last thing to achieve on her checklist before doing so ... winning another World Cup.
The longtime U.S. women's soccer legend -- who's been on the national team since '06 -- made the announcement Saturday at a presser, telling reporters this upcoming tourney would be her last as a professional ... and that she'd be hanging up her cleats afterward.
She does say there'll be more to come for her down the road -- presumably meaning she'll still be involved in soccer in some capacity -- but first, her focus is on snagging the gold.
During her remarks ... MR got a little choked up as she reflected on her storied career, thanking teammates, coaches, fans and everyone who's supported her over the years. She also touched on the game itself and commented on just how far it's taken her in her life.
She also shouts out her partner, WNBA star Sue Bird, for giving her inspiration in coming to the decision -- ICYMI, SB announced her retirement from pro basketball just last year.
Megan's thoughts are touching ... and it's a huge moment, seeing how she's been on several U.S. Women's Soccer teams, having played with some of the greats of the modern era. She's played with the likes of Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and so many others ... and is, by and large, considered to be one of the final players of the old guard to still be on the pitch today. She's also served as a captain on the team for years now.
Of course, her accolades are many. Megan's helped the U.S. win the World Cup twice, and she's also led the U.S. to a gold medal in the Olympics before. MR's won a lot of awards, too, including the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from FIFA for her standout performances.
It's the end of an era -- but not before one last go-around. The Women's World Cup kicks off in New Zealand on July 20, and the U.S. has its opening match scheduled for July 21st.