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USWNT's Megan Rapinoe 'thinking' about retirement – but still needs more time

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Megan Rapinoe is unsure about the future of her soccer career and will "need to take some time to think about it," the U.S. women's national team and OL Reign forward said Tuesday on ESPN's Spain and Fitz show.

The 36-year-old scored two goals in the United States' 4-3 win over Australia in the Tokyo Olympics bronze-medal match on Aug. 5. It was her second Olympic medal after winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

"Just in terms of my whole career, I don't really know yet. I need to take some time to think about it," Rapinoe said on Spain and Fitz.

Rapinoe returns to playing with her National Women's Soccer League team, the OL Reign, Saturday against NJ/NY Gotham FC. Should both women see the pitch in the matchup, she'll face off against fellow USWNT forward Carli Lloyd, the only player older than Rapinoe on the Tokyo squad.

Megan Rapinoe during the bronze medal match against Australia.
Megan Rapinoe during the bronze medal match against Australia.

Lloyd announced her retirement Monday, stating that she'd play out the rest of the NWSL season with Gotham FC as well as four USWNT friendlies across September and October.

"She has so many appearances, so many goals. So many memorable goals as well. It's all good and well to score five goals against teams that don't really matter, but I think Aaron Heifetz, our media relations guy, said that every medal match Carli played in she scored a goal," Rapinoe said Tuesday of Lloyd. "That's greatness. She's unbelievable. Showing up in the biggest moments, that's what you want from your biggest players."

Many believed the Tokyo Olympics would be the last major international appearance for Rapinoe and Lloyd, though only the latter hinted about retirement following the Games. Lloyd is the second-most capped player in world soccer history having started her career with the USWNT in 2005.

Rapinoe though, has not yet made up her mind about whether she's ready to be done playing soccer. It's a decision she said is more complicated than it seems.

"They always say, 'You'll know when you know,' but it's not really like that, because you could kind of keep going, and it's like 'Aw yeah, you've accomplished so much, you'll be fine stepping away,'" Rapinoe said. "But the conversation is always anguished in your mind. Or people just don't think about it. I've been thinking about it a lot."

Contact Emily Leiker at eleiker@usatoday.com or on Twitter @emleiker.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USWNT star Megan Rapinoe 'thinking' about retirement