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With its win tonight at the Women’s World Cup in Vancouver, the United States became the first team to win the tournament three times. And it was an exciting match, with plenty of goals — with midfielder Carli Lloyd scoring three goals for the 5-2 victory over Japan.
It was also a significant night for 35-year-old Abby Wambach. She is international soccer’s leading career scorer with 183 goals but had never won a World Cup.
“Our benchmark is winning,” midfielder Megan Rapinoe told the New York Times. “I would think we would have to be considered one of the best teams there ever was.”
Coach Jill Ellis, Abby Wambach, and Megan Rapinoe are openly gay. When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on June 26, 48-year-old Ellis (a native of England and now an American citizen) commented on the ruling:
“Our players, they’re great role models. And to have it now be something that all of us can embrace, no matter where we live in the country, it’s a tremendous step. And certainly, as somebody who benefits from that, I’m extremely pleased for everybody in our nation.”