After a breakout year with more media coverage than ever, the U.S. women's national soccer team has won the FIFA Women's World Cup. The team faced off against the Netherlands on Sunday in the cup final, and they fought hard through a game that seemed like it might be a stalemate.
At halftime, the score stood at 0 to 0, leaving some fans wondering whether the two teams were an even match. However, in the second half the U.S. was able to pull off a decisive 2 to 0 victory, earning the title for the second year in a row.
This was the U.S. women's national team's third year in the world cup final. The team has risen to prominence in a sport that often gets overlooked in the U.S., though it is a beloved pass time in the rest of the world. This year, they had some hard-fought victories over contenders like France and England, pulling off wins that only a cohesive team could hope to make.
The U.S. women's national team has had exceptionally good media coverage this year, with increased interest at home. This is likely due in large part to Megan Rapinoe, who has sparked controversy with her open disdain for President Donald Trump.
Rapinoe made headlines back in June when she stated scornfully that she would not go to "the f—ing White House" even if her team won the world cup. Rapinoe was already under fire for showing solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest, and when the president called her out, she decided that she would not go to the capitol to shake his hand.
After that, President Trump went after Rapinoe on Twitter, calling her out for disrespecting "our Country, the White House" and "our Flag." In spite of all of this criticism, Rapinoe has asserted that she is deeply patriotic.
“I think that I’m particularly, uniquely and very deeply American,” she told the Associated Press this week. “If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, the song and the anthem, and what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American.”
Rapinoe has also been strategically quiet in responding to her opponents and the president himself, but she said that she feels she has made her positions very clear.0comments
“I think for the detractors I would have them look hard into what I’m actually saying and the actions that I’m taking. Maybe you don’t agree with every single way that I do it and that can be discussed. I know I’m not perfect,” she said.
A few teammates have joined Rapinoe in pledging not to visit the White House after the World Cup, despite the president's invitation. She told reporters from Agence France-Presse that "not many, if any" of them would attend a celebration there.