Column: OFF THE WALL,On Top Of The World

Photo Credit: Megan Rapino (Center), Via Facebook

After four years of toil and hundreds of minutes of soccer at the 2019 Women's World Cup, it all came down to Megan Rapinoe. To the stoic co-captain. To the transcendent personality, the face of the U.S. women’s national team — and now, after 90 minutes in Lyon, a two-time world champion, also winner of the Golden Boot for her six goals and three assists in seven games. She also received the trophy for the best player of the tournament. 

After a tense hour-long scoreless struggle in Sunday’s World Cup final against Netherlands, Rapinoe stepped up to the penalty spot. Her conversion broke Dutch resistance, and ultimately clinched a second consecutive title for the U.S. It was her 50th international goal and the U.S. never relinquished the lead, (final score 2-0 US). 

An amazing group of women, true game changers, bold, brash, arrogant, never apologetic, they brought the cup home, brimming with a beautiful mix of character, fashion, history, politics, and gender awareness. A definite tipping point. In a country obsessed with male sports and where soccer usually ranks behind baseball, football, hockey, and basketball, women's soccer rules the world again for an incredible fourth time. They were the best team at the World Cup, and are the best team in the world. After seven consecutive victories, they’ll remain on top of it for four more years. 

The symbol and icon of this team is Megan Rapinoe and her lavender hair. She can now share all her trophies with her girlfriend Suzanne Brigit Bird, an American-Israeli professional basketball player for the Seattle Storm of the Women's National Basketball Association. She is a three-time WNBA Finals winner, in 2004, 2010, and 2018. They will need a longer mantelpiece to fit them all. 

Rapinoe is not afraid of rocking the boat or ruffle feathers both on the field and off. In fact she is standing by her refusal to visit the White House if invited. The stance of the star and co-captain was criticized by some — but Rapinoe, 34, says her dissent is patriotic. 

“I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American,” Rapinoe told ESPN. “If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, all the songs and the anthem and sort of what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American.” 

Rapinoe made headlines late last month after video footage showed her saying she would not go “to the f—ing White House” if the team wins the World Cup. In her interview with ESPN, Rapinoe — an activist who has spoken out in support of LGBT rights and gender equality, against racism and more — said that she would implore “detractors” to “look hard into what I’m actually saying and the actions that I’m doing.” 

President Donald Trump responded with a series of tweets directed at Rapinoe. “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Well Mr. President, they finished the job in style.

Well done ladies!