Megan Rapinoe is unique.
No, not just because of the signature short blond hairstyle she sports or because of her recent decision to announce that she is gay. Rapinoe is unique because of the way she plays the game of soccer. She combines speed, skill and grace with an elegance and tenacity, a mixture that has helped her emerge as a starter on the US women's national team.
Rapinoe gained world acclaim last summer when she delivered the pinpoint cross that helped set up Abby Wambach's dramatic winner against Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals and then provided a pivotal spark for the USA during the team's semifinal victory against France.
Back then, Rapinoe emerged as a super sub. A year later, Rapinoe has played her way into a starting role, joining fellow skilled midfielder Lauren Cheney in edging veterans and past Olympic heroes Carli Lloyd and Heather O'Reilly in the national team pecking order.
"We're feeling thankful that (coach Pia Sundhage) put us on the field, but we'...