Shea Coulee & Scott Studenberg
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USA Takes Home the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe Wins All the Awards

Team USA

After a stellar performance in the World Cup Final, your captain and mine, Megan Rapinoe is taking home a Golden Boot and the Golden Ball. 

Following a scoreless first half, Rapinoe made the U.S.’s first goal of the game off a penalty kick against the Netherlands, which she followed up by taking a bow. Just eight minutes later, Rose Lavelle sealed the deal with one more goal. Yes, two players battling hamstring injuries clinched the final game for the U.S.

In addition to Rapinoe’s awards, co-captain Alex Morgan won the Silver Boot, and Lavelle took home the Bronze Ball. Netherlands goalkeeper, Sari van Veenendaal won the Golden Glove. Lucy Bronze from England took home the Silver Ball. 

Out U.S. coach Jill Ellis also became the first woman coach and the second manager between men’s and women’s World Cup coaches to win consecutive titles (the first was Vittorio Pozzo, who coached Italy in the 1930s). 

Rapinoe made history as the oldest player to score in a final. At the end of the game Rapinoe and her fellow captains Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and Becky Sauerbrunn led the team in hoisting the World Cup trophy into the air as the massive crowd in Lyon, France, cheered along. 

“We’re crazy, that’s what makes us special,” she told Fox Sports following after the win. “We’ll do anything to win.” 

Heading into the 2019 tournament, she told Out in April that she was concerned about facing off against Germany, France, and Japan, but here they are in the final, blasting away the competition that came from Thailand, Spain, the French team with a home-field advantage, and finally England. Rapinoe’s among the top goal-earners throughout the tournament and scored not one but two goals on June 28, which happened to also be the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 

“Go gays!” the Lavender Menace-haired player declared according to the New York Times. “You can’t win a championship without gays on your team. It’s never been done before. That’s science right there.”

Rapinoe is part of the team-wide legal challenge to get the US Women’s National Team paid at the same rate as their male counterparts. In fact moments after the game clock ran out, the crowd chanted “Equal Pay!” as the players on the field celebrated. 

She stands (er, kneels) for what she believes in as she continues the protest started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem before every game to raise awareness about police brutality and racial inequality. Then she (and her equally athletically gifted girlfriend Sue Bird) insisted she was definitely not going to the White House, whether or not the president invited the women’s team. 

White House or not, the Women’s World Cup winners will come back to the United States to a champion’s fanfare, with a parade planned in New York on Wednesday. We’ll see whether this means anything for their legal challenge for better (equal) pay. 

RELATED | Megan Rapinoe Deserves An Award for her FIFA Performance, Case Closed

Tags: Sports, World Cup

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