The Sounders Women have added yet another big name to their roster: United States international Megan Rapinoe. The move comes just one day after they signed Mexican international Veronica Perez and now gives the Sounders Women at least five players with extensive international experience. Rapinoe is the fourth U.S. player to join the team with Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan previously being announced.
"Megan is one of the most entertaining players in the game today," Sounders Women General Manager Amy Carnell said in a team release. "A difference maker in the 2011 World Cup, Megan plays with a level of flare and passion that is rarely seen. Watching Megan you learn to expect the unexpected, raw emotion and pure guts to the final whistle is what you get."
Rapinoe is a native of the greater Cascadia region, having grown up in Redding, Calif. and playing collegiately at the University of Portland, where she was a first-team All-America selection as a senior. She's played for three years in the WPS, but has really blossomed on the international level. In 47 appearances, she's scored 12 times. During the most recent World Cup, she scored a goal and had three assists, including one each in the semifinals and finals.
Rapinoe is expected to appear in 4-5 of the Sounders' home games and play in one of their road games.
Perez is best known locally as a 4-year starter for the UW Huskies and a Sounders Women player in 2009, but since then she moved on to WPS and starting at forward for the Mexican National Team, where she scored the winning goal against the US in World Cup qualifying in one of the bigger upsets in international women's soccer history. Her return gives the Sounders a stocked forward corps of three active internationals.
I was maybe being a little optimistic a few weeks ago when I wrote that the Sounders Women may be one of the best women's club teams in the world. Certainly there are some good teams in Europe. But I don't think it's even optimistic anymore. The Sounders Women will now be starting a significant chunk of the US Women's National Team.
As a Sounders fan, I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on a chance to see this team play this season. With the status of the WPS and women's pro soccer in this country up in the air, who knows what will happen next season, but I think it's unlikely you'll see this concentration of talent suit up for the Rave Green again. Coincidentally, the Sounders Women just announced that single match tickets are now on sale. Is it worth $16 to watch our Sounders maul the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 8 or the Colorado Rapids on June 4? I think so. And if you're interested in involving yourself in a Supporters Group experience, the Ladies Auxiliary of the ECS is active and will be making sure the Sounders Women get as close to a raucous Sounders experience as Starfire can hold.