The pink-haired Megan Rapinoe struck gold in the opening moments versus France, scoring a goal in the 5th-minute to put the United States up 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
The 33-year-old took a set kick just outside the French box, patiently waiting for the lines to form before firing a rocket through the traffic and past the goalkeeper. Since then, she has continued to apply the pressure, threading passes to create two more shots.
The former player for Lyons has starred as of late in France, scoring two penalty kicks to pace the USWNT in the knockout stage versus Spain. The United States lost to France 3-1 back in January, but are looking to win a second straight World Cup.
Here’s the video of the Rapinoe goal.
She later tapped in a rebound in the 65th minute to push the lead to 2-0.
Rapinoe has tallied five goals and two assists so far in this World Cup. That follows up her two goals and two assists over six matches in 2015. Despite this production, she has earned press for her comments off the pitch this week.
When asked by a reporter if she would be excited to visit the White House should the Americans win the World Cup, she responded by saying she’s “not going to the f—ing White House,” and added, “We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”
This was an obvious shot across President Donald Trump’s bow. She clarified her statements before Friday’s match at a press conference, per Sports Illustrated.
I think obviously answering with a lot of passion, considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have, and using it for good, and for leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place, I don’t think that I would want to go, and I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way and fight for the same things we fight for.
Trump responded Wednesday by calling out Rapinoe in a tweet thread, writing, “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet……..invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”
Despite the non-soccer related press, Rapinoe has used her position on the international sports stage to express her political views. She continues to protest the national anthem by kneeling in an effort to address police brutality against African Americans.
Rapinoe, who is gay, has referred to herself as a “walking protest,” according to The Hill. She has also criticized the Trump administration’s stance on LGBTQ issues, such as the proposed transgender ban in the military. The Democratically-controlled House of Representatives voted to block this bill earlier this month.