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U.S., OL Reign star Megan Rapinoe opts out of NWSL fall series

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Foudy: Pandemic to blame for NWSL exodus to Europe (1:15)

Julie Foudy says the United States' handling of COVID-19 is the reason USWNT players are leaving for European clubs. (1:15)

Two-time World Cup winner and OL Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe is opting out of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) fall series starting next month, the Washington-based franchise said in a statement Friday.

U.S. international Rapinoe is among 10 Reign players who are not available for the tournament, which is scheduled to start Sept. 5.

No reason was given for her decision, but Rapinoe, 35, also skipped the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament in June, which was played in empty stadiums because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The fall series features nine teams divided into three regional pods -- West, Northeast and South -- and playing four games each over seven weeks. The format has yet to be announced.

The NWSL scheduled the Challenge Cup and fall series as a replacement for its regular league season, which was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.