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Volume 26 No. 60
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Tea Party: Alex Morgan Steals Show With Celebration Against England

During the USWNT's 2-1 victory over England in the FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal, Alex Morgan celebrated a goal by pretending to "take a sip of tea," and pictures and video of the moment "instantly went viral on social media," according to Alicia DelGallo of PRO SOCCER USA. Many observers thought yesterday's celebration was a "hilarious shot at England." Others found it "more significant coming two days before July 4th" and "related the gesture to the Boston Tea Party." Morgan’s explanation of the celebration was "far more simple." She said, "I feel like this team just has so much thrown at us, and I feel like we didn’t take the easy route to the final, and that’s the tea" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 7/2). Morgan also said that the celebration was "her way of responding to the U.S. team critics, who have accused the defending champions of arrogance" (REUTERS, 7/3). Morgan: "People like to talk about something that isn’t there, especially in a World Cup when all eyes are on the World Cup. For us, it’s just letting things go in one ear and out the other and knowing we play our game and that’s a confident game. That’s not an arrogant game" (USA TODAY, 7/3). In Miami, Greg Cote writes the USWNT is "doing more than 'owning' their excellence, their players are earning it." Cote: "Enjoying it. Reveling in it. Some call that arrogance. I call it appreciating what you have worked your whole life to achieve" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/3).

NOT YOUR CUP OF TEA? The AP's Tim Dahlberg wrote Morgan's "extended pinky was a signature moment of its own." Whether it was "pure brilliance or purely cheesy depends largely on which side of the pond you reside" (AP, 7/2). In DC, Des Bieler noted while Morgan and the USWNT were "whooping it up in France, the reaction on the other side of the English Channel was less joyful." Morgan was "criticized for having engaged in a 'classless' act." That group included former England national team member Lianne Sanderson, who said on BeIN Sports, "I expected Alex to grab a goal, but I’m not that happy with that celebration. You can celebrate however you want, but that for me is a bit distasteful" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/2). In Pittsburgh, Tim Benz wrote Morgan's celebration "was fine." Benz: "Let’s remember her 'afternoon tea' the next time we feel like getting judgy on social media when an American men’s team struts its stuff and shows off" (TRIBLIVE.com, 7/2).

ONE-OF-A-KIND: In Boston, Marisa Ingemi writes it is "not often the headline is the women in sports actually doing the sports." What "makes the USWNT special" is there is a "universal unspoken agreement they are worthy of celebration." Outside of those who are "regularly in women’s sports day to day, it’s a rarity, and it’s striking how refreshing it feels to talk about the talent and the games and the matches and the athletes instead of all the rest." The USWNT is the "best soccer team in the world right now," and they are "being treated like it" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/3). In Houston, Jenny Dial Creech wrote there is something "truly special about turning on the television and seeing these women front and center." It is "thrilling to check social media and see men and women everywhere commenting on a women’s game they are watching" (HOUSTONCHRONICLE.com, 7/2). In Boston, Tom Keegan writes these "brash mega-talents have made it impossible to ignore soccer" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/3).