Rapinoe, who is a two-time FIFA World Cup winner after lifting the trophy with the USWNT in 2015 and 2019, explained that each member of the men's team need to play in top leagues in order to improve the national team.
“I think we are definitely our starting 11 or the majority of our starting 11 being one of the best players on their team away. And I think we aren't there. Obviously, Christian, he's a superstar, tons of talent. When he's fit and healthy on the field, he's lights out. He's great. I think Weston has that as well. Zach has that as well. He's in a little bit of a tough position as a goalkeeper, but I think he can still do his thing and be dominant in that way.
“Sergiño as well, who you mentioned the other day. I think until we have all of our players being one of the best players on a...They don't have to be on the top teams, but on a top team in a top league, I think that's how far we are away. Because you look at Belgium or France or England, all of these top teams, it's like, that's tough,” she said on 90min’s Football Americana.
The USWNT forward added that the men’s team is going through the necessary 'growth period' at the moment.
“And I think we're in this growth period. That is really exciting because we're obviously seeing much more of our players over in Europe and playing consistently and starting and doing all that. But I think that's how I would say it. Because I think right now we have a couple of those players and we almost try to play to their level, when I think we need to play to the core level of the team and then let Christian be special or let Weston be special or let these other players be special.
“Everybody can't be special because they don't have that ability. And it's hard because you need to obviously build that and try and you need to struggle in order to level up, and I think that's a little bit where they are. But I think we're all of our best players being one of the best players on their team away. I'm thinking another 15 years, at least. I need to see our young, young, young players being in Europe already. I think that's the only way.”
The USMNT currently sits in second place in the Concacaf table, fighting to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The American side managed 15 points in eight matches, with six more qualifiers remaining.
After failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the United States will be looking for redemption.