Megan Rapinoe notched a penalty kick goal versus the Netherlands to give the United States a 1-0 lead in the Women’s World Cup Final. 60 minutes into the final match at Grande Stade Olympique Lyonnais, the Dutch and the Americans played to a deadlock. However, Alex Morgan was swiped by Stefanie van der Gragt in the 57th minute. After a lengthy VAR review, the Americans were rewarded the penalty.
Here’s video of the goal courtesy of Fox Sports host Rob Stone:
Minutes later, Rose Lavelle rifled a goal past the keeper for a 2-0 advantage. The United States, which didn’t allow more than a single goal in any game of the tournament, held on to take home the World Cup title for a second consecutive tournament.
Prior to the breakthrough, the match played out to an elongated stalemate. Despite controlling possession, the Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal kept the team in the match.
Rapinoe and Alex Morgan tied for the Golden Boot. She has scored five goals since the elimination rounds started and added one more in the 13-0 rout over Thailand. Morgan tallied five in the opening rout and chipped in the decisive score versus England in the semifinals.
Rapinoe has earned the lion’s share of the attention for the USWNT during this World Cup. A lot of it is due to her superior play on the pitch, but her comments off of it have made headlines on a daily basis.
First, after the United States routed the Thai, she clapped back at criticism of the team’s allegedly excessive celebrations.
“If anyone wants to come at our team for not doing the right thing, not playing the right way, not being the right ambassador for the sport,” she said to Metro, “they can come at us because I think our only crime was an explosion of joy last night.”
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.