U.S. wins Fifa Women’s World Cup (2019)

Sam Woloson, Editor

For the second straight time, the United States Women’s National Team took home the FIFA Women’s World Cup championship trophy. They did so on the strength of an unbeaten tournament campaign, including victories over a tournament-hosting France team, England, and the Netherlands in the final. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe also won both the Golden Ball Award and the Golden Boot Award after leading the team with six goals scored. 

During the team’s trip to the World Cup title, they set a few records. Among these were a record margin of victory in a 13-0 thrashing of Thailand, with Alex Morgan tying a single-game record five goals during the same match. Head coach Jill Ellis also became the first coach to win two World Cup championships. This title put the U.S. tally at four championships, which is also a record. The team scored a tournament-record 26 goals over the course of the month-long cup. The success of the team is undeniable and as the #1 ranked international women’s soccer team, the United States women began to compete for something else. 

The issue of equal pay for men and women had already been a large talking point in politics, but with the strong case and even lawsuit presented by the national team, the debate reached a fever pitch. From the moment that the team hoisted the trophy, chants from across Stade de Lyon erupted, demanding equal pay. 

There are a few key pieces in the team’s argument. For one, the on-the-field success has been drastically better than the men’s team, which failed to even qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The matches for the women’s team also generated more revenue than those of the men’s. The most glaring pay difference falls with the World Cup championship bonus. The women’s team made just $4 million as a bonus, compared to the championship-winning male French team from a year ago which received $38 million. 

The efforts of the team’s protests really haven’t proven successful, but they did find different, maybe even more important successes. As role models, the athletes campaigned for better and equal treatment of women, helping empower young women across the nation. For that reason, the U.S. Women’s National Team helped inspire on and off the pitch, helping put a bright spot on a 2019 year that was filled with controversy and tragedy. 

 

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