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The Tea: 5 Reasons Why The USWNT Is So Iconic

Richard Heathcote / Staff

1. Talk the talk and walk the walk 

Very few athletes can put their money where their mouth is. However, this team knows they are the best, talks like they are the best, and plays like the best. Ali Krieger, a star defender, said “we have the best team in the world, and the second-best team in the world.” While that may come off as cocky, there is no denying the depth and talent of this US team. For instance, the US started 7 bench players against Chile. What other team can afford to do that? 

'We have the best team in the world, and the second-best team in the world.' - @alikrieger

 

2. Celebrate

If you thought Brandi Chastain’s legendary celebration was the last of them, you were mistaken. From Megan Rapinoe’s outstretched arm pose to Alex Morgan’s tea celebration, these stars are forever ingrained in the legacy of US Soccer. Those celebrations could not have been anymore perfect. For Megan Rapinoe, who has faced heavy criticism throughout her career, to rise above those voices and deliver game after game is incredible. WIth her arms outstretched, she dared the world to challenge her. As for Alex Morgan, sipping the tea was also symbolic. First, they were playing England. But more importantly, I think it was a jab to all the people who underestimated this team, who criticized this team, and who are against this team in the fight for equal pay. This was especially fitting after the England head coach, Phil Neville, said that the USWNT had an “image problem” and disagreed with the US celebrating all 13 of their goals against Thailand. 

      

 

3. Thrive Under Scrutiny 

The USWNT were always the favorites, but they also were the villains. They faced heavy criticism early in the tournament after their 13-0 win against Thailand. Analysts all over the world chastised the team for running up the score and excessively celebrating in such a blowout game. Even some American analysts thought their antics were unnecessary. There is no doubt this team is widely respected for their talent and for winning, but at the same time they have been scrutinized for how they conduct themselves on the field.

Well guess what? It is the World Cup, the biggest stage in the sport. These players have worked their entire lives to get here, and deserve to be excited for their individual and team successes. It would be a disservice and even more disrespectful for the US not to go 100% each game. To those international players and coaches complaining about the US, you should probably take a few notes and look inward to see how you can be better and stop worrying about us. 

 

4. More Than Just Female Athletes

You know a team is iconic when they are bigger than their sport. This women’s soccer team is truly special. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what they believe in, no matter the consequences.

As a female athlete, I very much respect their fight to close the pay gap in soccer. Hopefully, after this World Cup, they stepped one foot closer.

Furthermore, many of their players are heroes for the LGBT community. From Megan Rapinoe, perhaps the team’s biggest star, to couple Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger, they use their platform to advocate and give a voice to this group.

Perhaps this leads to the most inspirational thing about this team: they are a diverse melting pot of powerful young women who seamlessly work together towards a common goal. This team consists of players from different races, sexualities, and backgrounds, yet they are a family. They are a shining example that it is possible to love each other even if they don’t look or act the same. The world, and even those in the United States, should take note.

This team is a shining example that it is possible to love each other even if they don’t look or act the same. The world should take note.

         

5. Perhaps The Best Team Ever

You hear of iconic sports team dynasties all the time. From the Golden State Warriors, to the Patriots, to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. While these are all incredible teams, they have not dominated the sport for quite as long as the USWNT. Unlike many professional sports championships, the World Cup happens every four years. The USWNT has reached the World Cup finals three straight tournaments in a row, which spanned from 2011-2019. Even more impressive, of the eight total World Cup tournaments, the USWNT has played in five of them. With this win, they have a record of four World Cup titles. That is twenty years of international dominance. Name one other team that has accomplished this much for this long.