The United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) proved yet again that they are the best of the best, after successfully defending their World Cup trophy in France on Sunday. The highly-motivated squad beat the European Champions, Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup.
Although US midfielder Megan Rapinoe had admitted her disappointment with FIFA for scheduling the match on Sunday, coinciding with the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals, the world was tuned in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais. Despite Rapinoe’s fears that the other two finals would take away the shine from women’s match, last Sunday’s World Cup was ranked as one of the highest-rated television broadcasts in sports history. In the US alone, about 14 million people watched the finals on TV according to Nielsen ratings.
Soccer fans from across the globe held their breath during the 90 -minute epic clash praying that perhaps the wind could blow to their side.
After a tense first half, the USWNT finally managed to break the wall after they were awarded a penalty in the 61st minute. Rapinoe took the first goal of the match and Rose Lavelle buried their opponent’s title hopes after netting the second goal eight minutes later.
Although the Netherlands tried their best to break the US defense, their attempts proved futile as the USA side stood their ground until the final whistle.
Let’s take a look at the history of the USWNT and their journey in the four-week tournament, which was riddled with a number of controversies.
Controversies surrounded the US team in the 2019 World Cup
During the early stages of the tournament, Rapinoe, a strong critic of the US President Donald Trump, stated that she would not go to White House in the event her team is invited, sparking controversy. Earlier, the US team had also been criticized for over-celebrating during their record 13-0 win against Thailand in the group stage matches.
Not long after, England Coach Phil Neville questioned the USA’s etiquette after USA coach Jill Ellis’ staff were seen at England team’s hotel in Lyon before the semis. While some had suggested that the staff was there to spy, both coaches downplayed the claims.
Ellis’ team then found themselves under scrutiny for the umpteenth time after the US forward Alex Morgan’s “tea-sipping” celebration drew mixed reactions in the football world. Morgan was pictured holding the trophy and pretended to take a sip of tea after they won against the Netherlands on Sunday. This did not go well with a number of fans who perceived it as mocking England and its love for tea.
The USA’s journey to the fourth World Cup title
The United States women’s national team quest for the fourth World Cup crown began early.
First, the USA team side won all the matches in the group stage, to emerge at the top of Group F with nine points, scoring 18 goals in the process.
They would further cement their prowess in the tournament after beating France 2-1 in the quarters and later defeating England 2-1 in the tournament’s semi-final. They finally beat the Netherlands in the finals to carry their fourth title home.
The USA’s World Cup history
Apart from the trophy in this year’s tournament, the US achieved another feat for most goals in the World Cup tournament, after thrashing Thailand 13-0 in their first group stage match.
The US Women’s World Cup history in France was made possible by their strong desire to win, a dedicated coach, and a number of highly skilled players that showed their A-game in every match.
Players such as Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Morgan Brian, among others, played crucial roles in the US’ performance in the World Cup. Against all odds, the United States women’s national team stood the test and delivered a thrilling and memorable World Cup final ever.