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Volume 26 No. 86
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USWNT's Opening Win, Celebrations Still Drawing Reactions

U.S. players annoyed many people by exuberantly celebrating their late goals in their rout of Thailand
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
U.S. players annoyed many people by exuberantly celebrating their late goals in their rout of Thailand
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
U.S. players annoyed many people by exuberantly celebrating their late goals in their rout of Thailand
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The USWNT's 13-0 victory over Thailand in their opening game of the World Cup has sparked a bevy of reactions to the team's style and attitude, but it is clear that in women's soccer, the U.S. "is a superpower," and a superpower "doesn’t dwell on the indignity done to others by unsavoury boasting in victory," according to John Doyle of the GLOBE & MAIL. The USWNT is "going to supersize it, no matter what." Its players "will keep scoring goals if they have the chance." When they celebrate, they "won’t tone it down as the victory becomes a rout" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/13). In Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannenwald wrote the U.S. players "annoyed a lot of people" when they "ran up the score" against Thailand. They "celebrated all of their goals exuberantly," but that is "how this team plays, and how it has played across multiple generations" (INQUIRER.com, 6/12). In London, Luke Edwards asks: "Should the USA have eased off? Perhaps. Should they have continued to celebrate their goals with such glee when they had so clearly already embarrassed their opponents? Possibly not." They "wanted to break the record for the biggest World Cup win and they were enjoying themselves, it was fun." That says "a lot about their psyche." The players "don’t mess around, they aren’t here to play, they are here to win" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/13). CBSSN’s Adam Schein said: “I don’t want to hear that it’s about American pride or the country. No, celebrate! You work hard to get to that moment” (“Time to Schein,” CBSSN, 6/12).

BEST IN SHOW: THE RINGER's Rodger Sherman wrote, "When you’re the best damn team in the world, you just gotta go out and be the best damn team in the world." Nobody "looks back at the ’92 Dream Team and says, 'Man, I wish they’d chilled out against Angola'" (THERINGER.com, 6/12). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde wrote fans can "feel bad just like the men’s basketball Dream Team did." But it "doesn’t mean you change anything" and it "doesn’t mean you feel too bad" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 6/12). In London, Miguel Delaney writes any criticism of the USWNT's personality is "absolutely not to say the USA should have just stopped playing or eased off once the game was obviously won." That mentality "doesn’t follow, however, that playing normally means celebrating normally." The "extent of the reactions were entirely out of sync with the way these kind of extreme results usually go" (London INDEPENDENT, 6/13). ESPN’s Jorge Sedano: “At the end of the day, these things are games, it's not that serious (“Around the Horn,” ESPN, 6/12).

STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK? The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly writes U.S. F Megan Rapinoe after scoring the ninth goal of the match "celebrated it like it was the first tally in the history of soccer." She ran over to the bench and "lolled about, kicking up her legs and shouting and doing a whole bit." Rapinoe "looks like a complete idiot" and the Americans, as a group, "look awful" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/13). In Toronto, Derek Van Diest writes Rapinoe's "helicopter celebration and subsequent baseball slide towards the sideline may have been over the top for a goal giving the United States a 9-0 lead" (TORONTOSUN.com, 6/13). SI.com's Jimmy Traina wrote Rapinoe's celebration was "so ridiculous and so pathetic that I actually couldn't believe what I was watching." Traina: "I am 100% pro celebrations. ... Flip the bat, dance your ass off, give us a routine with your teammates. But you have a feel for timing and the situation" (SI.com, 6/12). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “I don't care about them running it up. ... I thought the celebrations were unsportsmanlike, I thought they were just sort of stupid. … It seemed sort of cheap" (“PTI,” ESPN, 6/12).