Hey, sports enthusiasts. Don’t you just LOVE when a team is doing well, working hard, and succeeding together, then some kooks manage to create a controversy where none actually exists? You don’t? Me either.
Regardless of sense or sensibility, somehow the United States Women’s team is under fire for celebrating ‘too enthusiastically’ and creating ‘choreographed celebrations’ after scoring. Even former USA goalkeeper, Hope Solo, spoke out against her former team mentioning poor sportsmanship and a lack of class on the United States players.
But wait… there’s more.
In what seems bizarre, some critics claim that poor sportsmanship caused the US team to run up the score in their 13-0 win over Thailand.
Pardon me while I roll my eyes for a moment before I add my two cents to the discussion.
Without getting into the passionate and competitive nature of sports, it seems fair to remind the critics that this team is the defending World Cup Champions. When is the last time the defending champions of any sport sulked and brooded after a stellar effort while defending their championship? A certain amount of hard-won swag comes with every title. Also, including the bench players is good form in any sport. I am not speaking of rocket science. If you want to be a united team, act like a united team. Additionally, where are the critics when American NBA superstars participate in Olympic play and decimate some hapless teams on the way to the medal round?
Regarding the alleged running up the score, the short response is no; they were not trying to make Thailand look bad. In World Cup play, a team’s goal differential is the way ties are decided. If a team lets up and does not take the shots on goal, they risk elimination down the road if another team with the same record has more total points. Also, by scoring such a large number of points, the United States Women had an opportunity to rest some of their starting players in the game against Chile. A total of seven new players started in the US’s second matchup. Three of these women did not play in game one. Opportunities like this do not come easy or often.
In the 3-0 victory against Chile, the US women played hard and turned a deaf ear to critics. After scoring the first goal for the United States team, veteran Carli Lloyd celebrated the goal and becoming the first player to score goals in six straight World Cup games. She paused her jubilation long enough to perform a genteel hand clap, which spoke volumes to the critics.
It was a great day for the USWNT. We can expect a high level of tense competition when the United States faces off against Sweden on June 20 in LaHavre. Perhaps the critics will figure out how to think before speaking by then.