The US Women’s National Team opened their World Cup campaign against Thailand, and the result was beautiful. The US, the top ranked team in the world, beat Thailand 13-0. Alex Morgan scored five goals in the match, Rose Lavelle scored two, Sam Mewis scored a pair as well, Megan Rapinoe tallied a goal, as well as Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd. The players celebrated each goal in their historic effort, as it was the greatest margin of defeat in World Cup history.
While the Yanks put on a clinic, a heated debate surrounded the game on social media. Apparently, people weren’t pleased with the US’s celebrations.
This debate is dumb. The argument against celebrating the eighth, ninth, tenth and so on goals is wholly flawed. These women are athletes, playing at the world’s biggest stage. And what are athletes if not entertainers?
Soccer/football is called the beautiful game, and it’s simply that: a game. It should be taken seriously, as these athletes dedicate their lives and their bodies to the sport, but it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The celebrations show the love for the sport these women hold in their hearts. Sure, it was ruthless, but at the same time, the team with the oldest average age at the tournament celebrated showed a youthful display of joy and pride.
Imagine if you scored five world class goals in a World Cup match. Just imagine, because you never will. Only US legend Michelle Akers and Morgan have scored five in a World Cup match. And it’s very unlikely you’ll be as good at anything as these two women were and are at football. Morgan had every right to celebrate her accomplishment.
A panel of former Canadian internationals on TSN took offense to Megan Rapinoe’s celebration. After all, it was her 45th international goal. But her goal wasn’t cheap. She made a 45+ yard run, in a dead sprint, to catch up to a through ball. She has every right to celebrate after that effort, regardless the score line.
Clare Rustad said on TSN that she, “hoped they would have won with humility and grace.”
What about scoring 13 goals at the World Cup is humbling? The US should be proud of their performance and put that pride on display.
The US plays Chile next, on Sunday the 16th, and will carry their momentum against another lesser opponent. Should the US put an astronomical number on the scoreboard like they did against Thailand, they’ll have every right to celebrate like they did.
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