The World Cup has been one of the most controversial international sporting events in quite some time.
From the constant international criticisms of overzealous post-goal celebrations to the controversial political comments from United States women’s national team captain Megan Rapinoe about President Trump – none of that matters anymore because the U.S. defeated the Netherlands to take home the Gold.
Regardless of your personal preference over the aforementioned, Megan Rapinoe delivered as promised and the USWNT delivered a record fourth World Cup Championship on Sunday.
The relentless United States women’s national team’s dominance was on full display on Sunday in France.
This was probably the most competitive match our USWNT played in the tournament despite defeating France, England and Sweden in a narrow margin of 2-1 in all three games and beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the World Cup championship.
The U.S. had scored in the first 12 minutes of every game until Sunday, but the Dutch held them scoreless for the first sixty minutes. It was a nail biter for fans of either team until in the 61st minute, captain Megan Rapinoe scored from a penalty kick in the box.
Only eight minutes later, midfielder Rose Lavelle put the fear in the Netherlands’ eyes when she fired a scorcher into the net to give the United States a 2-0 lead. There were a couple of close calls after that but it seemed like a foregone conclusion the USWNT would win their second consecutive World Cup at about the 75th minute.
The only other time a team went back-to-back as World Cup champs goes all the way back to when Italy did it in 1934 and 1938.
And this is their fourth World Cup.
When Rapinoe said approximately a couple weeks ago, “I’m not going to the f—king White House,” most of the critics – even those of President Trump’s supporters – said they should go win the World Cup first before talking smack and injecting politics into the international sporting event.
From there the USWNT embraced the arrogance. In fact, one could say they absolutely reveled in all of its glory.
That was obvious with Rapinoe’s famous picture pose after she scored her first goal against France, which probably ticked off millions in Europe.
This was the picture.
The next biggest controversy was another post-goal celebration – a game Rapinoe didn’t play in because she was apparently nursing a hamstring injury – from Alex Morgan who proceeded to pantomime sipping tea; something the English are notoriously stereotyped for.
This was that picture.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 2, 2019
But now that it’s over, now that the United States are world champions – in the face of celebration and political shaming – you can’t deny that they did what they said they would do and that’s admirable.
Maybe the best thing in sports celebrations is to win without talking trash, but there’s also something to be said about winning and talking trash at the same time. These women put the world on notice that women’s soccer belongs to the United States.