The USA women’s soccer team is handling business! According to the Associated Press, Megan Rapinoe went from controversy to triumph, scoring twice for the United States in the much-anticipated clash with host France to send the defending champions into the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup with a 2-1 victory Friday night.
Rapinoe, who was called out on social media by President Donald Trump after video surfaced of her saying she wouldn’t visit the White House if the United States won in France, now leads the top-ranked Americans to Lyon to face No. 3 England on Tuesday in the semifinals. She scored on a free kick in the fifth minute that bounced between French players and past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. After scoring, she went to the corner and raised both arms in celebration toward the U.S. fans in the sold out Parc des Princes stadium.
The U.S. team is used to grabbing attention both on and off the field. Rapinoe was caught up in controversy this week when a video surfaced of her using an expletive while vowing not to visit the White House. While the interview was from January, it attracted the president’s attention and he tweeted: “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team.”
A day before the match, Rapinoe said she stood by her comments, except the coarse language. She even suggested the uproar might help her team. “I think, if anything, it just fires everybody up a little bit more,” she said.
It doesn’t get any easier for the United States going forward, with England looming in the semifinals after a decisive 3-0 victory over Norway on Thursday night.
The United States already has three World Cup trophies, most of any nation. The Americans emphatically beat Japan 5-2 to win in Canada four years ago.