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Fuel Soccer Talk: US Women’s World Cup Special Edition

World Cup: US team answers complaints about lack of sportsmanship

Ugly Americans? Arrogant? Classless? Sportsmanship – NOT?

The US women’s soccer team apparently upset some fans with their conduct during its World Cup title defense with a tournament-record 13-0 blowout over Thailand in Group F on Tuesday in Reims, France. Alex Morgan scored five goals in a dominating win for the Americans.

But the talk has been more about their actions after their goals. Apparently, some feel it was a bit excessive and over the top against an obvious weak opponent.

ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman took to Twitter to say he had a problem with the late-goal celebrations, especially goal No. 9, which was scored by captain Megan Rapinoe: “0.0 problem with the score line as this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame,” he tweeted.

“I’m embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete. There are kids watching this,” said Kaylyn Kyle, a former Canadian National Team Player. “They’re the No. 1 team in the world. And for me, I’m disgusted, honestly. You’re going up against a team that’s their first time in the World Cup.” (It’s actually Thailand’s second World Cup appearance.)

While the Americans could have toned it down a little (they are role models after all), Alex Morgan offered a pitch perfect response: “I think it’s disrespectful if we don’t show up and give our best, and play our game for 90 minutes. It’s disrespectful to the Thai team, and I believe they wanted us to play them straight up,” she said.

“And for the celebrations, these are goals we have dreamt of our entire life. I’m going to celebrate Mal Pugh’s goal, I’m going to celebrate Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. This is their first World Cup, and I’m so proud of them. And I couldn’t have dreamt of scoring five goals in a World Cup. So, you know, it’s incredible for us all, and I’m happy just ignoring those comments.”

How should the US have played it once they hit double-digits in goals?

World Cup Rewind: US makes a point in opener

Let’s put aside the complaints about celebrations and over reactions and respect and sportsmanship and focus on what really matters – the play on the pitch. The US women weren’t exactly playing one of the elite teams gathered in France but you can only play who the schedule tells you to play – and the schedule gave them Thailand.

The US did what the US needs to do – dominate the teams they are expected to dominate. Everyone got in on the act and it was a great way to start what is sure to be a long and exciting marathon. While this isn’t a sprint, the US exploded out of the blocks.

Here is a fun watch from Fox Soccer. I’ve watched it three times already 🙂

World Cup: News & Notes from the opening win

  • The USA’s 13-0 win was the largest ever margin of victory for any team in a World Cup match. The USA’s previous largest margin was a 7-0 defeat of Chinese Taipei at the inaugural 1991 event.
  • The USA’s 13-0 win was the largest margin of victory among the opening matches of group play. The second largest was host nation France’s 4-0 win vs. Korea Republic in the tournament’s opening game.
  • The multi-goal performances by Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis mark the first time a nation has had three different players score multiple goals in a WWC match.
  • Mallory Pugh was the thirty-second different player to score for the USA at the Women’s World Cup, making the U.S. the second nation to have that many different scorers in the competition’s history after Germany (34).
  • There were just 6 minutes between the USA’s fourth and seventh goals (50’, 53’, 54’, 56’), the fastest four goals that have ever been scored in a single Women’s World Cup match in the competition’s history.
  • Alex Morgan’s five goals upped her international total to 106. She now has eight in World Cup play, tying her with Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd in third place on the USA’s top World Cup scorers list. Lloyd’s goal late in the game bumped her up to eight World Cup goals as well. Only Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12) have more World Cup goals for the USA.

FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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