‘They could have won with some humility’: US women’s soccer team is slammed for ‘disgusting’ celebrations during 13-0 World Cup thrashing of Thailand that left the opposition players in tears
- USA thrashed Thailand 13-0 in Women’s World Cup in France on Tuesday night and celebrated every goal
- With Thai players left in tears, fans and commentators have slammed the ‘disgusting’ celebrations
- But some viewers have defended the team, saying the players are just excited for the tournament
The US women’s soccer team has been slammed for wildly celebrating every goal in their 13-0 defeat of Thailand.
The Women’s World Cup favorites thrashed the minnows in Riems, France on Tuesday night and reacted to each goal as if it were their first.
Thailand was never a real threat to the U.S. national team. Even so, the three-time Women’s World Cup champions had no desire to go easy on a lesser opponent in their opening game.
Goals matter in the group stage.
And statements matter in soccer’s biggest tournament.
‘Obviously we have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it’s the World Cup,’ said captain Megan Rapinoe.
The US women’s soccer team has been slammed for celebrating every goal in their 13-0 defeat of Thailand. Pictured: Midfielder Lindsey Horan celebrates with United States’ forward Megan Rapinoe
The World Cup favorites thrashed the minnows in Riems, France on Tuesday night and reacted to each goal as if it were their first
Even the substitutes joined arms and jumped up and down with wide smiles – while Thai players were left in tears. Pictured: US player Mallory Pugh celebrates one of 13 goals
Alex Morgan, left, comforts Thailand’s Miranda Nild, right, who cried after the thrashing in Riems on Tuesday night
Alex Morgan tied the tournament record with five goals and the United States opened with a historic 13-0 rout of Thailand on Tuesday night.
Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which broke the record for goals and margin of victory in a World Cup game.
The United States faced criticism over its relentless attack. The Americans led 3-0 at the break and then broke the match open in the second half, with the players celebrating goal after goal.
The Americans meant no disrespect, said Morgan, but they simply wanted to position themselves for a run at a second consecutive title.
Commentators and fans on Twitter have described the jubilant celebrations as unsporting and even ‘disgusting’.
“We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves,” Morgan said. “Every goal matters in this tournament and that’s what we were working on.”
Asked about the lopsided score, U.S. coach Jill Ellis wondered if a 10-0 victory in a men’s World Cup would elicit the same questions.
“This is a world championship, so every team here has been fantastic to get to this point. And I think that to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents, and as Alex said, it’s a tournament where goal differential is important,” Ellis said.
Even the substitutes joined arms and jumped up and down with wide smiles – while Thai players were left in tears.
Commentators and fans on Twitter have described the jubilant celebrations as unsporting and even ‘disgusting.’
On Canadian sports channel TSN, former Canada players Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle blasted the US team.
‘I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that,’ Rustad said.
‘Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?’
Kyle agreed, saying: ‘They’re the No. 1 team in the world and for me, I’m disgusted, honestly.’
Several fans on Twitter also made their feelings known.
‘I understand running up the score for goal difference but no need to celebrate every single goal like classless jerks,’ one wrote.
Another added: ‘Ok settle down USA… you’re up 11-0 against Thailand.’
Former American international Taylor Twellman criticized the team, believing the side’s goal celebrations in Reims were excessive.
‘Celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame,’ Twellman tweeted to his 327,000 followers.
He was also critical of the US women for showing their hand ahead of games against more formidable opponents.
‘Not sure why the #USWNT is “wasting” any of their set plays when the score is 3-0. Bury (Thailand) then move on but don’t use anything that could be needed in future games,’ he wrote.
Thailand players react with despair following their 13-0 loss to the United States in their Women’s World Cup
Alex Morgan (right) of USA celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal to make it 12-0
Rose Lavelle celebrates with teammates after scoring one of her two goals on the day
Rob Stone, the host of the Fox Sports World Cup coverage on American television, sided with Twellman.
‘This got humiliating at some point. It just became an exercise in target practice,’ he said.
‘You know what I wanted to do? Pull it back, knock it around.’
But many fans disagreed and said criticism of the women was sexist.
Former US international Alexi Lalas, another member of the panel, however, defended the Americans.
‘It’s not their problem they’re playing against a poor team,’ he said.
But many fans disagreed and said criticism of the women was sexist. Among those defending the players was former star player Abby Wambach
‘The U.S. team is not here to be anybody’s friend. The U.S. team is here to win a World Cup.
‘The U.S. team each and every time the whistle blows is going to score as many goals as possible.’
Former US player Abby Wambach wrote: ‘For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is their first World Cup goal, and they should be excited.
‘Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?’
Fox Sports presenter Aly Wagner added: ‘It’s a World Cup. You score, you celebrate. This is a dream for these players.’
The Women’s World Cup kicked off on Saturday with host France beating South Korea 4-0.
The US’s victory sets the record for the biggest win in the tournament’s history, beating Germany’s 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007.
The US took a 3-0 lead into half-time, but things really got out of hand over the first 12 minutes of the second half as the Americans padded their lead with another four goals.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the U.S. enjoyed a similar flurry at end the game, scoring six goals over the final 15 minutes of play.
Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which broke the record for goals and margin of victory in a World Cup game.
Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored. The previous record margin was Germany’s 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007.
Morgan tied Michelle Akers’ record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Chinese Taipei in 1991.
‘We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves,’ Morgan said. ‘Every goal matters in this tournament and that’s what we were working on.’
It came close to the team’s biggest rout ever. The US beat the Dominican Republic 14-0 in a 2012 Olympic qualifier in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Up next for the US is World Cup newcomer Chile on Sunday in Paris. In the final group match before the knockout round, the Americans will travel to Le Havre to face nemesis Sweden, who they’ve been grouped with six times in World Cup play.
In the last meeting between the teams, Sweden ousted the United States in the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics.
Afterward, former US goalkeeper Hole Solo called Sweden ‘cowards’ for bunkering on defense.
Nattakarn Chinwong of Thailand is devastated after the humiliating defeat by the US
Players of USA celebrating their team’s first goal against Thailand in the World Cup
Megan Rapinoe of USA celebrates with fans after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 preliminary round match between USA and Thailand in Reims
Alyssa Naeher has since replaced Solo, who was dismissed from the team.
Sweden defeated Chile 2-0 earlier on Tuesday in Rennes, a match that featured a 40-minute weather delay.
The World Cup comes at a time when female players across the globe are seeking better treatment, conditions and pay.
The US national team has long championed equal rights, and players collectively filed a lawsuit earlier this year that alleges discrimination by the US Soccer Federation and are seeking pay equitable with that of the men’s national team.
The players say the lawsuit is on hold while they’re in France. But a pair of prominent well-wishers on Twitter referenced the team’s pursuit of equality.
‘The @USWNT is something to smile about. It was great to celebrate with them back in 2015 and I’m excited to root them on in their drive to earn their fourth star. Best of luck to these champions for equality, on and off the field,’ wrote former President Barack Obama.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King weighed in: ‘The pursuit of a record 4th World Cup trophy for the #USWNT officially begins today, but the journey has been years in the making. You have the support of a nation behind you. Get that win, and then get the equal pay you deserve!’
All 13 goals in the US team’s thrashing of Thailand
- 12′ US 1, Thailand 0: Alex Morgan; assisted by Kelley O’Hara
- 20′ US 2, Thailand 0: Rose Lavelle; assisted by Alex Morgan
- 32′ US 3, Thailand 0: Lindsey Horan; assisted by Samantha Mewis
- 50′ US 4, Thailand 0: Samantha Mewis; assisted by Megan Rapinoe
- 53′ US 5, Thailand 0: Alex Morgan
- 54′ US 6, Thailand 0: Samantha Mewis
- 56′ US 7, Thailand 0: Rose Lavelle; assisted by Samantha Mewis
- 74′ US 8, Thailand 0: Alex Morgan; assisted by Christen Press
- 79′ US 9, Thailand 0: Megan Rapinoe; assisted by Mallory Pugh
- 81′ US 10, Thailand 0: Alex Morgan; assisted by Megan Rapinoe
- 84′ US 11, Thailand 0: Mallory Pugh; assisted by Alex Morgan
- 87′ US 12, Thailand 0: Alex Morgan
- 90′ US 13, Thailand 0: Carli Lloyd; assisted by Alex Morgan
United States’ Mallory Pugh, left, takes the ball past Thailand goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing to score her team’s 11th goal
Alex Morgan of the US celebrates scoring the tenth goal of the game
Women’s soccer star refuses to sing national anthem in solidarity with LGBT community and as ‘F You to Trump’
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe stuck to her resolve not to sing the national anthem ahead of the team’s first match in the Women’s World Cup against Thailand in France on Tuesday.
The player stood silent and stony-faced as her teammates sang along to the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ in the Auguste-Delaune Stadium in Reims.
The 33-year-old midfielder went on to score a goal in the game as the US women’s soccer team recorded the biggest victory in World Cup history with a thumping 13-0 win over Thailand and kicked off their quest for a fourth title.
But Rapinoe was criticized by some social media users for her decision not to honor the national anthem, while others praised her.
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe (far right) was the only player in the US women’s soccer team not to sing the national anthem before the World Cup game against Thailand in France on Tuesday
The 33-year-old midfielder stood silent and stony-faced as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ blared out across the Auguste-Delaune Stadium in Reims
‘Megan Rapinoe needs to be booted for her lack of patriotism. Why play for a country you hate,’ one person tweeted.
Another wrote: ‘Megan Rapinoe is not singing the anthem (because she’s not allowed to kneel) and I love her so much it hurts.’
‘So weird to have a scowl while your national anthem, the one that gave you the freedom to pretty much actually PLAY in this game,’ one person commented.
The player was criticized by some users on social media for her decision not to honor the national anthem
Other Twitter users praised the outspoken activist for sticking to her vow not to sing the anthem
One person tweeted a picture of Rapinoe’s still face next to one of her teammates singing and holding their hand over their hearts, saying she should have done the same
Another angry Twitter user said: ‘Megan Rapinoe doesn’t belong wearing red, white, and blue. Don’t play for the USA if you can’t respect it, don’t represent the USA if you hate it.’
Someone else posted: ‘Good for her! That is her right! Just like it is my right not to watch or cheer for spoiled rotten unpatriotic and unappreciative people like her who play on our National Team and are supported by my taxes!’
Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports last month that she would ‘probably never sing or honor the national anthem again’.
‘I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again,’ she said in an interview published on May 13.
‘It’s kind of a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him,’ the LGBT activist said in an interview published on May 13.
Rapinoe has also preemptively declined the customary invite to the White House from President Donald Trump if the US Women’s Soccer Team wins the World Cup.
‘I am not going to fake it, hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am,’ the soccer star told Sports Illustrated in May.
‘I have no interest in extending our platform to him.’
Rapinoe previously visited then-President Barack Obama in the White House with the U.S. team after the 2015 World Cup win.
Rapinoe was not always an outspoken US cultural critic.
In 2011, she proudly sang ‘Born in the USA’ into a microphone after scoring a decisive point in a 3-0 win vs. Colombia during a FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
But over the span of eight years, the athlete, part of the beloved 2015 women’s World Cup-winning team, has become as famous for her activism on and off the field as she is for her electrifying play.
The Redding, California native and American poster girl recently became the first openly-gay woman to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
In 2016, she was the first white athlete to take a knee during a pre-game National Anthem performance in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who used the gesture as a means of silent protest against racism and police brutality after a string of high-profile fatal shootings of black Americans by law enforcement officers.
Rapinoe (far right) stuck to her resolve not to sing the national anthem. She told Yahoo Sports last month that she would ‘probably never sing or honor the national anthem again’
The soccer star and LGBT activist said not honoring the anthem is ‘a good ‘F you’ to any sort of inequality or bad sentiments that the [Trump] administration might have towards people who don’t look exactly like him’
When the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ ended and players clapped, Rapinoe raised her fist in the air
‘I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,’ Rapinoe told reporters at the time.
In response to Rapinoe’s protest, the United States Soccer Federation created a rule requiring players to stand ‘respectfully’ during the playing of the anthem.
Rapinoe was also one of the women’s national team players to file a lawsuit in federal court in March alleging gender discrimination.
The players have said in court documents that US men’s team players earned a $55,000 bonus apiece for making the World Cup roster in 2014, while the women earned a $15,000 bonus each for making the 2015 World Cup roster.
The US women’s soccer team has been considerably more successful than the men, winning the World Cup in 1991, 1999, and 2015.
Rapinoe said the lawsuit was about ‘inspiring women around the world to stand up for what they believe in. They have an ally in us. We are with them, we support them, and we will continue this fight as long as we need to.’
The team went on to record the biggest victory in World Cup history with a thumping 13-0 win over Thailand. Rapinoe is pictured controlling the ball during the game
Rapinoe celebrated after winning the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group F football match between the USA and Thailand
The player told Yahoo Sports in May that she feels responsible to use her platform to speak out on social issues, regardless of the consequences or backlash she may receive from Trump or his supporters.
‘I feel like I’m a walking protest,’ Rapinoe said after calling the president a ‘sexist,’ ‘misogynistic,’ ‘small-minded,’ ‘racist,’ adding that he is ‘not a good person’.
After being asked what it would take to restore her former patriotic posture, Rapinoe answered: ‘It would take a lot’.
‘It would take criminal justice reform. It would take the huge inequality gap that we have to be much better. It would take a lot of progress in LGBTQ rights. We just have such a disparity in this country in so many different ways, inequality in so many different ways… There are things that are much more important than soccer,’ she said.
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