On July 7, the midfielder booted a penalty kick into the net at Lyon, France, for the go-ahead goal in what would be a 2-0 victory for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team over the Netherlands. That kick sealed her status as the best player in the tournament—Rapinoe, 34, was awarded FIFA’s MVP trophy, the Golden Ball, and the Golden Boot for most goals scored—on what is now undeniably the best squad in the world.
And all of this started in North Portland.
That’s where Rapinoe spent four years on the varsity squad at the University of Portland, a Catholic school with 4,000 students and a growing claim as the capital of American women’s soccer. “Everywhere we play, all over the world,” Rapinoe said on a return visit to UP in 2012, “I know I have Pilot Nation behind me.”