The United States Women’s National Team put on a show last night, beating Thailand 13-0 in their Women’s World Cup Group F opener. Their performance last night set a ton of records, from most goals in World Cup history by a single team to the largest margin of victory ever. Alex Morgan had 5 goals, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis added two apiece, and Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd, and Megan Rapinoe also found the back of the net in the victory.
Still, the story of the evening wasn’t the win or all the goals. It was celebration. The USWNT celebrated every goal with passion and zeal, even as the score piled up. Some fans were cool with it, while others criticized the USWNT for celebrating so demonstratively against an opponent that was clearly outmatched.
In the stands, USWNT fans felt bad for Thailand, who played hard until the final whistle, despite the vast difference in talent. But, very few were upset at the celebrations by the team, who have several players who were either appearing in their first World Cup or scored their first World Cup goal. Their job was to play the game to the top of their potential and leave no doubt. After weeks of anticipation and watching everyone else play their first match in the World Cup, hearing all the critics talk about how much the rest of the world had caught up to them and how vulnerable they are for defeat, they want to ensure that the story was that they were still the team to beat in this tournament. And, to quote Melvin Bratton from ESPN 30 for 30’s The U, “if you don’t want us dancing, keep us out the endzone.” Thailand couldn’t keep the USWNT out of the goal, and so they celebrated each time with the passion that has defined them since the beginning.
You know who else isn’t worried about the celebrations? Thailand. They didn’t express any sentiment that the USWNT were running up the score or trying to embarrass them. Inside the last 13 months, they’ve been on the opposite end of similar scorelines, beating Indonesia 13-0, Cambodia 11-0, Timor-Leste 8-0, and Malaysia 8-0. The latter 3 scorelines came during the AFF Women’s Championship, so it occurred in a tournament setting. No one complained then, and Thailand sure isn’t complaining now.
This morning, you have your say. Did you think the celebrations were fair or out of bounds? What were your thoughts on the USWNT demolishing of Thailand? Hit the comments and let’s hear them.