The long, often controversial career of Megan Rapinoe ended Sunday against Sweden, as her shoot-out kick shanked badly, and the American Women were left to wonder ‘what if’ as they headed home in defeat. It was the first time ever that the Women’s team had exited this early, and many on social media weren’t exactly upset.
Rapinoe, the far-left veteran player who in recent years has focused more on activism and pushing leftist narratives than soccer, ended her career with a whimper, sailing her kick high over the goal as her teammates looked on in shock.
The loss is especially bracing after the acrimony and struggle the team has had in terms of earning equal pay as the Men’s squad. After demanding to be paid the same, and subsequently getting equal pay, the ladies certainly did not offer any return on investment.
The entire tournament for the American Women had been overshadowed by controversy. Before the game against Vietnam, while the Vietnamese players jubilantly sang and celebrated their country’s anthem, the vast majority of the American Women seemed disinterested, and many simply stood stone-faced as if they were in great pain simply hearing the National Anthem of the country that has given them so much.
That sad display certainly put a bad taste in American soccer fans’ mouths from the get-go. However, their display of arrogance after squeaking to a scoreless tie against an overmatched Portugal team sent one former player into a rage.
Carli Lloyd, a decade-long veteran of US Womens Soccer, had harsh criticism for the actions of the players after barely surviving against Portugal. She said: “Every time you step on the pitch, it’s not a guarantee you’re going to win. It’s not a guarantee you’re going to win a World Cup. And today was just simply uninspiring, disappointing. They don’t look fit. They’re playing as individuals. And the tactics are just too predictable.”
Lloyd predictably received pushback, but she was not wrong in her analysis. This seemed to be a squad that was too concerned with selfies and their won press clippings and not at all concerned about soccer. The results showed.
For Rapinoe, the veteran bench warmer was brought in against Sweden, and while a dramatic, victorious finish right out of a Hollywood movie was there for the taking, the 38-year-old simply no longer had the skills necessary to seize the moment, and the rest is World Cup history.
After the match, Rapinoe said: “I mean, this is like a sick joke. For me personally, this is like dark comedy that I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. I think it can be cruel.”
Perhaps it wasn’t all her fault, as someone with her declining skills and her age simply shouldn’t have been in such a crucial match at such a pivotal moment. However, ultimately she was, and many around the world, including Americans that had grown weary of her bombast and anti-American shenanigans, reveled in her failure.
With the next World Cup set to go off in 2027, and perhaps even on home soil, maybe the USWNT can take some valuable lessons from their behavior this time around and course correct what is a disturbing trend in international sports; disrespecting America. At least then, maybe we can be proud of a losing squad instead of embarrassed by their behavior.
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