Jul 8, 2019

Queens of Lyon: The USWNT does it again

Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Women's National Team dominated the World Cup from start to finish. Yesterday's final of USA 2, Netherlands 0 was no different, even if it took them longer than usual to score their first goal.

Context: In each of their previous six matches, the U.S. scored within the opening 12 minutes. Yesterday's first goal didn't come until the 61st (on a Megan Rapinoe penalty kick), but at no point did it feel like the Americans' eventual victory was in doubt.

  • I was nervous that the U.S. was going to win 1-0, which would have led to the predictable "should that really have been a penalty kick?!" coverage and overshadowed this monumental achievement. But Rose Lavelle — who is a superstar and looks like the future face of this team — scored an absolute beauty to seal the deal.

By the numbers:

  • 26: Goals scored by the USWNT, a new record for most goals scored in a single World Cup.
  • 70.2%: Percentage of time the Americans led in their seven games (442 of 630 minutes). They never trailed.
  • 12: Consecutive World Cup matches won by the USWNT, the longest winning streak in either men's or women's World Cup history.
  • 700: The number of girls playing high school soccer in the U.S. in 1972, when Title IX was passed. In 2018, there were nearly 400,000, proving that the USWNT's dominance is no accident, but rather a product of public policy, as the Guardian notes.

What they're saying:

"This year's USWNT simply proved that it could do everything. It could speak its mind, fight for equal pay, win every game, and answer its critics. For some groups, taking on all of that at once might have led to loss of focus. For this group, it seemed to have the opposite effect."

— The Ringer's Brian Phillips (full article)

What's next: The city of New York will hold a ticker tape parade for the USWNT on Wednesday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

U.S. Soccer says women's national team paid more than the men's side

Megan Rapinoe (center) and other members of the World Cup-winning U.S. team at a New York ticker tape parade. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Soccer Federation released a letter Monday claiming that it's paid the World Cup champion women’s team more than the men’s national team in recent years — citing figures disputed by the U.S. Women's National Team.

Why it matters: Following the USWNT's 4th World Cup win this month, equal pay in sport has become a hot-button political issue. The letter's release comes ahead of mediation in the U.S. Women's National Team’s pay-equity lawsuit against the governing body, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Women's World Cup: "Equal pay" chants erupt after U.S. win in France

The U.S. players with their 4th World Cup trophy in Lyon, central-eastern France. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Chants of "equal pay" erupted in Lyon, France, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino was booed over soccer's gender disparities after the U.S. team's Women's World Cup triumph over the Netherlands Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a reminder of disparities in men's and women's soccer that saw the U.S. women's soccer team file a lawsuit in March, accusing the United States Soccer Federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination." Democrats including several 2020 candidates signed a letter urging the women's team to be fairly compensated.

Go deeperArrowJul 8, 2019

The future of women's soccer after another World Cup win for the U.S.

Photos: U.S. Soccer; Logos: SportsLogos.Net; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. women's national team will bask in a ticker-tape parade through Manhattan today — and then it's back to work.

The state of play ... In the wake of the Americans' fourth World Cup title, the hard part remains: boosting interest in the National Women's Soccer League, where all 23 members of the USWNT spend their springs and summers.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019