Megan, 26, at left in photo, is a midfielder for the U.S. women’s soccer team. Rachael, 26, was a forward for the University of Portland soccer team in 2004-08.
The youngest of six kids, the Rapinoe twins (Rachael is older by 11 minutes) spent their childhood trying to keep pace with their older brother and sisters. But it was a burning desire to outdo one another that made them great. “We were constantly pushing each other,” Rachael says. When they joined a club soccer team in high school, they met other girls who had grown up playing against boys. Of course, the Rapinoes had the added advantage of being prodded by someone just like themselves. “I was a late bloomer in terms of size and presence on the field, and Rachael carried me through that,” Megan says. Not surprisingly, they stuck together when it came time for college. “If a team wanted one of us, they were getting both,” says Megan, who ended up needing her sister more than ever after tearing her left ACL in her sophomore year at Portland. And when Rachael tore her left ACL in both her junior and senior years, she leaned on Megan for support. “I couldn’t have gotten through it without her,” says Rachael, whose injuries forced her out of the sport. “We just need each other.”