US SoccerUS Soccer

Who Will Score a Bicycle Kick?

Rapinoe Knows

There have been hundreds of goals (more than 1,300 in fact) in U.S. Women’s National Team history, but never has a player scored a true bicycle kick. Mia Hamm came close, as did Tisha Venturini and Michelle Akers, but we are still waiting for that full-out, kick-that-off-leg-up-the-air-and-whip-the-other-one-over-your-head Marcelo Balboa-esque bicycle kick.

In order to identify the best candidates from the current crop of U.S. WNT players, we asked someone who has actually tried a bicycle kick in a WPS match…and that’s midfielder Megan Rapinoe. She gave us her top five players most likely to score on a bike – and why – in no particular order.

Said Rapinoe: “She is just so willing to throw her body at anything to get a goal. She’ll just go for it without any hesitation and that’s what you have to do in order to pull it off. I’ve seen her try them at practice and she’s hit some solid ones for sure. She’s scored in every other possible way, why not a bike?”

Said Rapinoe: “She wants to score one, that’s for sure. She’s obviously super-athletic so she has the natural ability to pull it off. It might just take a super Heather O’Reilly cross to set her up with one. She’s also very crafty, so I think her mind would go there if the opportunity arose.”

Said Rapinoe: “I’ve tried them before and have had some pretty good success. I did one in a WPS game last year against Sky Blue, but I think it went over the goal. I think I’m the sort of person who would be willing to try one and wouldn’t care what happened. I’ve had a few where I landed straight on my back and didn’t touch the ball at all, but try, try again. Hopefully, I’m agile enough to just at least attempt it.”

Said Rapinoe: “Tobin would probably be the choice of most fans and players on this team to score one. She’s so good with the ball that she gets bored doing normal stuff and has to think of new things to do. She’s always looking for nutmegs and fun stuff to do on the field. She’s certainly athletic enough to do one and I think she might enjoy it the most. She would probably look the best doing it as well.”

Said Rapinoe: “Her sheer athletic ability takes over here. If she scored one in a game, I would tackle her, take her shoes off, send her to the bench and her day would be done. It might make me the happiest to see her score one. When she gets into camp, I might start setting her up with a few crosses. You never know what peer pressure can do.”