This article is the second in a series of features that will include the entire roster of the Chicago Red Stars before season's end. See also, at B/R, features of the Boston Breakers by Todd Civin, and the Los Angeles Sol by Jo-Ryan Salazar.
Megan Rapinoe was pretty sure the Chicago Red Stars would draft her.
Coach Emma Hayes invited her to visit Chicago before the draft, and showed her around. At that point, viewing the skyline from various vantage points along the Lake Shore, Megan knew Chicago was her kind of town.
Megan was taken by the Red Stars, as expected, second overall in the WPS Draft.
Now that she's there, living downtown, taking in the big city lifestyle, she feels right at home and would be tempted to make Chicago her year round residence.
The feeling is mutual. Megan Rapinoe has been voted player of the game in three of the four home games she's played in thus far.
For good reason.
She's passionate about the game, leaves everything she has on the field with each contest, and every instance of falling short of her own high standards, whether it is losing a ball on a single play, missing a shot she should have made, or losing a game, festers until her next opportunity to make it right.
She is one of only five Red Stars who have scored, thus far, this season.
Megan comes to Chicago with an impressive U.S. Soccer and collegiate resume.
As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2006, Rapinoe scored the game-winning goal in the 2009 Algarve Cup semifinal win over Norway and had the assist on the lone U.S. goal in the final.
She appeared in four matches with the senior team in 2006 and scored two goals.
Megan tied for the U.S. lead with three goals at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championships in Thailand.
At the University of Portland, Rapinoe was legendary. Named West Coast Athlete of the Year, she started all 22 games her senior year (2008), scoring five goals and earning 13 assists.
She missed most of 2007 with a re-injury of her ACL, but before the original injury in '06 she scored ten goals and added two assists in just eleven games. Three of the ten goals came as a hat trick against Baylor.
Megan earned a trophy case full of accolades in her freshman year, including, Soccer TimesNational Freshman of the Year, WCC Freshman of the Year and NSCAA First Team All-America in 2005. She started all 25 games of her freshman season as an attacking midfielder, scoring 15 goals (seven game-winning) and 13 assists.
Raised in Redlands, California, Megan is a twin from a family of six children.
Rachael, her twin, was a team mate at Portland. In her senior year, Rachael "blew out her knee" and is awaiting surgery.
Unlike Megan, however, Rachel does not plan to play professionally. While Megan makes surgical strikes on goal for the next several years, Rachael will be learning how to do real surgery, in medical school.
Despite the fact that she is in the first third of her WPS rookie year, Megan has a long view of her life and is already taking steps to create the life she wants to have after soccer.
Her dream is to travel a lot, teach or volunteer in the third world, and make as much of a difference in the world as she has already made and is certain to make on the soccer pitch before her career is over.