Megan Rapinoe Assessment of USWNT Blowout is Spot On

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Megan Rapinoe tells it like it is, doesn’t take any crap from anybody, and you have to respect the hell out of her for that. The United States Women’s National Team lost their Tokyo 2020 opener today, 3-0 to Sweden, and Rapinoe sized up the blowout properly.

“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we? I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff,” Rapinoe said.

“There’s no time to dwell and think about if Sweden (the same country that knocked them out of the last Olympics) is living in our heads or not. We’ve got another game in three days.”

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Rapinoe, who did not come on until the 64th minute, with the score already 2-0, added: “Did we expect this result tonight? No.

“It’s frustrating, and it’s frustrating that it’s Sweden. They found a lot of space on us. I don’t even know how many goals we have given up this whole year. I don’t remember the last time we gave up a goal. So to give up three is not great.”

This was a huge wake-up call for the #1 ranked and heavily favored USWNT, who saw their 44-game unbeaten streak come to an end.

We’re sure U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski had his reasons and his rationale (whatever they may be), but he just didn’t play his tried and true players in this one.

Rapinoe missed the first 2/3 of the game. Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan only got half, as they swapped each other at halftime. Julie Ertz only played the second half, and when she did it was in a more advanced role up the field, instead of her usual spot in the back.

Not sure why he gave this an exhibition friendly kind of feel, as group stage games count too, but he really should have done his lineup tinkering prior to Tokyo. The reigning World Cup champions were full of confidence heading into this, as the last time we saw them in a tournament they ran up the score, showboated and obnoxiously celebrated.

Nothing wrong with doing all of that, and I hope they do it again, once they get their groove back here, but you when you act in that manner and lose, well, you deserve the backlash you receive.

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This was inevitable.

Hate on them all you want for that, but DO NOT hate on Rapinoe and company for their speaking out and standing up for social justice. Athletes are human beings, not sports robot mercenaries, and fighting for social causes is an essential part of the human experience. The “stick to sports” crowd, or as I call them the “Sporps to Stick” crowd, can take all the seats right now.

Yes, this was this a terrible loss for the USWNT, and yes Sweden is a very good team?

However, Team USA can still easily recover and reach the knockout rounds.

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There are only 12 teams in the tournament in total, and you can still reach the knockout stages with a third place finish in group.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

  1. LOL @ Rapin0-3.

    Spend more time on sports, less on social justice.

  2. Patrick Dunagan says

    Turning half or more of your fervent fans away in disgust doesn’t provide any gain to any social issue. Play soccer. Salute your flag. Win.

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