The U.S. women’s national soccer team proved their dominance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup by defeating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday in the championship match.
The victory in Lyon, France, marks the fourth world title for the U.S. women after taking home the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
The first half of the game went scoreless, with co-captain Megan Rapinoe earning the first goal of the game with a penalty kick at the 61-minute mark. Just before the 69-minute mark, midfielder Rose Lavelle scored the second goal.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) July 7, 2019
“It’s surreal,” Rapinoe said after the win. “I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous.”
We do it for the fans.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 7, 2019
After Sunday’s win, the internet exploded with praise for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Yes! Fourth star. Back to back. Congrats to the record breakers on the @USWNT, an incredible team that’s always pushing themselves—and the rest of us—to be even better. Love this team. #OneNationOneTeam
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 7, 2019
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 7, 2019
— Al Roker (@alroker) July 7, 2019
The U.S. women’s national team roared onto the field during the group stage of the World Cup, defeating Thailand, 13-0. They continued to trounce their competitors throughout the games in France.
The win comes after a season that was marked by increasing visibility of LGBTQ athletes, controversy, calls for equal pay, and public battles against President Donald Trump.
In June, Rapinoe said in a recorded interview that she would decline to visit the White House if invited by Trump. In a video clip shared on social media, Rapinoe told a reporter, “I’m not going to the f—ing White House.”
Trump later responded in a series of tweets, saying he would invite the women’s team win or lose, but adding a rebuke for Rapinoe.
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Trump wrote.
Rapinoe later accepted a Twitter invitation from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to visit the U.S. House of Representatives.
“It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome @mPinoe & the entire #USWMNT for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Two hours later, Rapinoe replied to the tweet, accepting the invitation.
The U.S. women’s team not only stirred up drama off the field, but also on it. The high-scoring game against Thailand led some to criticize how they ran up the score and appeared arrogant by celebrating too much.
Then, forward Alex Morgan garnered backlash after she celebrated a game-winning goal against England in the semifinals with a gesture as if she were sipping from a tea cup. Some said the U.S. women had become too arrogant, but others, including British actress Sophie Turner, praised the athlete.
“I’m really f—ing proud of you, Alex Morgan. Congratulations on your win. And that’s the motherf—ing tea,” Turner said in an Instagram story.
WORLD CHAMPIONS pic.twitter.com/eQ8lVd4sdj
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) July 7, 2019
Although they’ve won on the soccer field, the U.S. women are still fighting for a victory over their pay back home. Prior to the World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team filed a federal lawsuit, accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of engaging in “institutionalized gender discrimination” reflected in differences in pay, medical care, travel arrangements and overall workload for the men’s and women’s teams.
The federation has declined to comment on pending litigation, but said that any pay disparity is “based on differences in the aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex.”