- Megan Rapinoe said opposing fans “love me, so it’s really difficult for them to cheer against me.”
- Two weeks later, NJ/NY Gotham fans trolled her for the comments when OL Reign came to their turf.
- The Gotham supporters’ banner read, “You’re so vain you probably think this banner is about you.”
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New York and New Jersey sports crowds aren’t renowned for their hospitality, and they lived up to their reputation this weekend.
Megan Rapinoe and her National Women’s Soccer League club, OL Reign, traveled to Harrison, New Jersey, this weekend to take on NJ/NY Gotham Saturday night. The trip came just two weeks after the outspoken US Women’s National Team superstar declared that opposing fans struggle to root against her because they like her too much.
“Obviously the Thorns fans need no introduction – they’re incredible,” Rapinoe said after a May 23 game against OL Reign’s rivals in Portland, according to Equalizer Soccer’s Jeff Kassouf. “They have one big problem, though. It’s that they love me, so it’s really difficult for them to cheer against me.”
NJ/NY fans pounced on the opportunity to troll Rapinoe. During the first half of Saturday night’s matchup at Red Bull Arena, members of Gotham’s independent supporter’s group – Cloud Nine – unfurled a banner that poked fun at the pink-haired striker.
In an homage to Carly Simon’s 1972 hit, the sign read “You’re so vain you probably think this banner is about you.”
-NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) June 6, 2021
In Rapinoe’s defense, fans at Red Bull Arena were cheering in her honor throughout the evening. Even so, Cloud Nine’s bit stands out among the most clever digs to come from NWSL fans.
OL Reign’s 1-0 loss on the evening added insult to injury. Rapinoe’s stacked squad – which features USWNT co-star Rose Lavelle, Welsh standout Jess Fishlock, and 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year Bethany Balcer, among others – is now 1-2-1 on the season and sits at eighth in the league standings.
Fortunately for Rapinoe and company, OL Reign can expect some mega-watt reinforcements as soon as next week. The team is set to add Eugénie Le Sommer – the all-time leading goal-scorer for the French national team and European juggernaut Olympique Lyonnais – after the FIFA international window closes on June 15. Likewise, superstar German midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsán and French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi will leave Lyon on loan and head to Tacoma to join Reign later this month.
With this week’s FIFA international window, Rapinoe will join the USWNT in Texas for a three-game summer series slate against Portugal, Jamaica, and Nigeria. She’ll then reconvene with her OL Reign teammates for yet another road game, this time in North Carolina to face the Courage.