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Megan Rapinoe is technically facing the prospect that Friday might be the last time she plays competitive soccer, but you would not be able to tell if you asked her.

"I'm not really too stressed about that," she put it simply during a press conference on Thursday.

Rapinoe and the OL Reign kick off the 2023 NWSL playoffs against Angel City FC this weekend in what will actually be her final match in Seattle, a city that she's called home for 10 years. The consequences are obvious if the team loses, but even with a win, they face a batch of games on the road for a shot in the NWSL Championship on Nov. 11. The finality of Friday's game, though, is taking a back seat to another sentiment -- one of excitement.

"[We thought] it would even be impossible to host a playoff game so enjoying that and just going out there and putting out a good performance," Rapinoe said, "and just realizing how special it is and lucky I am to be in another meaningful game and not have the last time that I ever played just be a friendly or be in something that didn't matter."

Viewing info and odds

  • Date: Friday, Oct. 20 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • Place: Lumen Field -- Seattle, Washington
  • Live stream: Paramount+
  • Odds: OL Reign -122; Draw +250; Angel City +291

The Reign came into Decision Day in a playoff spot but yet to clinch their spot in the postseason, but got the job done with a 3-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars in which Rapinoe's star shone brightly. She scored twice in stunning fashion in a game that notably came after her sendoff games with the U.S. women's national team and the Reign.

"I think coming back from the World Cup, it was a little tough to hold it all because I'm holding that career, I'm holding this career, trying to enjoy the celebration games and everything, which was amazing but sort of overwhelming in a lot of ways," she said. "I think it's gotten easier as I have those games behind me to just focus on the day to day, which I'm really enjoying … I think that showed in Chicago, just not having a ton of other stuff going on."

In fact, Rapinoe has not had much on the schedule since the retirement ceremonies for club and country came to a close -- minus one important stop in New York to celebrate a longtime friend who will also hang her boots up at the end of the season.

"I've basically said no to everything except massages and spa appointments and naps," she said. "It's just been relaxing -- and going to [NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Ali] Krieger's party. That's just a tiny one."

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The relaxation sets up nicely for Rapinoe's excitement for yet another playoff match with the Reign and the chance to add to her well-established legacy as a big-game player.

"This is the best part of the season," she said. "I love these games. These are the games you want to be in. To me, this is the whole point of being a professional athlete, of putting all the time and work that you do to be in these most meaningful games."

The idea of the storybook ending has not escaped Rapinoe's mind. It would not just be a fitting tribute to one of the most decorated players of the game to close out her career with another trophy but would also check one final item off the list of accomplishments. Despite the Reign's reputation as one of the NWSL's most consistent sides, the team has yet to win the NWSL championship.

"We've had great teams here, some of the best ever teams here with the Reign and haven't been able to get that one elusive piece of silverware so that would mean the world to me," Raapinoe said. "I would absolutely love that. I'll put every single thing into it to try to get that as we do every year. That would, of course, be the perfect, scripted ending."

Rapinoe is hesitant to get too far ahead of herself, though, instead choosing to live in the moment.

"There's a lot of things that are not that fun about being a professional athlete and this is not one of them," she said. "This is what you do all the not-fun stuff for, is to get to these moments where everything's on the line and you have to win and you have to put it all out there and you really get to be the woman in the arena. I just think there's nothing better, so always my message is go out there and be yourself and try as much as you can to enjoy it and not have any regrets."