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On a frigid day and in front of a historic crowd for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup at the Red Bull Arena, the U.S Soccer honored Christie Rampone for her legendary soccer career with the U.S Women’s National Team. Not only was Rampone remembered as “Captain America”, and a true leader but she is also defined as a strong defender and a role model teammate, as a mom and as a player.

Rampone’s international career started in 1997 with the U.S Women’s National Team. She earned 311 caps, serving as the captain of the United States from 2008 to 2015. A two-time World Cup champion and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, Rampone represented the U.S at five Women’s World Cups and four Olympics.

On July 5, 2015 and at the age of 40, Rampone became the oldest women to play in a FIFA Women’s World Cup. When talking about her overall career from the beginning to transitioning into a captain role, making mistakes and learning from them, Rampone describes the opportunities and ups and downs as “…a good balance in the mix that allowed me to play as long as I did.”

“One last hurrah” said Rampone, seconds previous to walking onto the field, where her #3 USWNT framed jersey was being displayed one last time in front of the crowd. Rampone was accompanied by her two daughters, Rylie and Reece. After watching a video of her career from 1997 to 2015, former teammate Abby Wambach came to the field to present her with flowers. “Wrapping it up with Abby was something I did not expect.” Rampone confessed.

Rampone, who seemed a little emotional but excited at the same time, thanked Jill Ellis, USWNT head coach as she walked out.

“I’ll realize this probably when I am at home. One day is going to just hit me.” Rampone said. “I can’t believe I played 19 years at this level, as a mom and everything I was able to accomplish through sport and what sport brought me is pretty amazing.”

What Is Next For Christie Rampone?

Even though Rampone said goodbye to the USWNT yesterday, she will still be an active player  in the NWSL for the New Jersey Sky Blue FC team.

As per staying involved with the U.S Soccer and the program in the future, that is something that will come with time and discussions. Rampone definitely showed interest in future coaching. “You can’t just step in and be a brilliant coach. Not all the best players are great coaches… but I think center backs convert into good coaches.”

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Paola is DoubleGSports' Technical Director and a sports fan who enjoys writing about women's soccer.

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