Why USWNT's Megan Rapinoe sees Donald Trump Twitter feud as positive

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USATSI

Why USWNT's Megan Rapinoe sees Donald Trump Twitter feud as positive

United States Women's National Team star Megan Rapinoe's name dominated headlines around the world during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, and not just because of her award-winning performance.

After a video circulated late last month of the 34-year-old saying she wouldn't go "to the f--king White House" if the USWNT lifted the trophy in France, President Donald Trump scolded Rapinoe in a series of tweets. He tweeted that Rapinoe should "[win] first before she [talks]," and the winger proceeded to score three more goals at the tournament en route to winning every possible individual and team award in front of her.

Rapinoe was the tournament's highest scorer (Golden Boot) with six goals, named its best player (Golden Ball) and won her second consecutive World Cup title. 

"Yeah, I held up my end of the bargain on that one," Rapinoe told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on Tuesday. "I mean, honestly, I see [the Twitter exchange] as a positive thing. I think when it was happening, we did keep a really tight bubble and the whole group was so supportive of me but it did feel positive, in a way. Obviously, I think the tweets were negative in tone as he usually does, but I think we just even moreso in that moment realized we're so much more than what we are on the field. And I think this team really understands, and is so prideful that we do carry with us other people when we step out on the pitch.

"It's the game of course, and we wanna win. But knowing the impact we have already had, and knowing the impact we were gonna have when we came home, the motivation of just that alone is incredible, and I really feel like we do this for our group ... and for everyone."

Rapinoe, who is openly gay, has long been an advocate for social change. In 2016, she became the first white athlete to kneel during the playing of the national anthem in solidarity with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. She also kneeled while wearing a national team uniform, prompting U.S. Soccer to institute Policy 604-1 which mandates players "representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented."

Along with 27 other USWNT players, Rapinoe is a plaintiff in a lawsuit accusing U.S. Soccer of "institutionalized gender discrimination" in how they have been paid and treated compared to the men's national team. Last month, the two sides agreed to mediation but Rapinoe remained critical of how global soccer body FIFA treats women players, noting that president Gianni Infantino's pledge to double the women's World Cup prize pool money would still leave a large gap with the men. 

Above all else, Rapinoe says she and her teammates value inclusivity. 

[RELATED: Watch USWNT celebrate in return to America after World Cup victory]

"I think that we always want to try to bring more people into the conversation," Rapinoe continued. "We want to have the conversation. We want to open it up to everyone. I think, obviously, we are very lucky to wear the shirt and represent America in a way no team really does. We're very lucky. We play all kinds of games all year long, and I think that we do an incredible job of representing every American."

Rapinoe and the rest of the USWNT will celebrate their second consecutive World Cup crown with a parade Wednesday in New York City. 

Women's World Cup bracket: Knockout stage matchups, dates, times

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USATSI

Women's World Cup bracket: Knockout stage matchups, dates, times

No Megan Rapinoe, no problem. 

As the United States Women's National Team's star forward missed Tuesday semifinal against England with a hamstring injury, the USWNT still beat England, 2-1, to advance to their third straight championship game at 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. 

Former Cal star Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal in the 31st minute, and she did so in style. On her 30th birthday, Morgan put a pinky up and sipped some tea in France. 

The USWNT will now face the Netherlands at 8:00 a.m. PT in the championship match on Sunday.

Here's the full knockout-stage bracket:

Round of 16

Match 37 -- Norway 1, Australia 1 (Norway advances 4-1 on penalties)

Match 38 -- Germany 3, Nigeria 0

Match 39 -- England 3, Cameroon 0

Match 40 -- France 2, Brazil 1 (Extra Time)

Match 41 -- USA 2, Spain 1

Match 42 -- Sweden 1, Canada 0

Match 43 -- Italy 2, China 0

Match 44 -- The Netherlands 2, Japan 1

Quarterfinals

Match 45 -- England 3, Norway 0

Match 46 -- USA 2, France 1

Match 47 -- The Netherlands 2, Italy 0

Match 48 -- Sweden 2, Germany 1

Semifinals

Match 49 -- USA 2, England 1

Match 50 -- The Netherlands 1, Sweden 0

Third Place

Sweden 2, England 1

Final

USA 2, The Netherlands 0

Where to watch USWNT-Netherlands Women's World Cup final in Bay Area

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AP

Where to watch USWNT-Netherlands Women's World Cup final in Bay Area

One of the best parts of every World Cup are the reactions to big moments. 

Every four years, hardcore and first-time soccer fans are living and dying with every kick of the ball. If there's a winning goal in stoppage- or extra-time, you're just about guaranteed to see videos of those fans go viral. 

If the United States Women's National Team is able to win its first-ever back-to-back title in France on Sunday, there are going to be plenty of those big moments. The USWNT squares off with the Netherlands in the final on Sunday (8:00 a.m. PT), and must knock off the reigning European champions on the road to repeating.

Luckily, the Bay Area is filled with places to watch the American women try to win another World Cup. Here are some of the best. 

Big-screen viewing

The San Jose Earthquakes have hosted viewing parties Avaya Stadium all tournament, and will do so again Sunday. You can RSVP here.

The San Francisco Parks Alliance and San Francisco Parks and Recreation will co-host a watch party for the final at Civic Center Plaza.

American Outlaws

If you're looking to sing songs and dress up in red, white and blue, look no further than the unofficial supporters' group of U.S. Soccer. 

The American Outlaws have chapters in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa, and all four are hosting watch parties for every USWNT game. Here's where each chapter meets for games: 

  • Oakland: The Athletic Club, 59 Grand Ave.
  • San Jose: Jack's Bar & Lounge, 167 E. Taylor St.
  • San Francisco: McTeague's Saloon, 1237 Polk St.
  • Santa Rosa: The Toad in the Hole Pub, 116 5th St.

Where else can I watch? 

Despite the early kickoff for West Coast fans, plenty of places in the Bay Area will be open bright and early to broadcast Sunday's match.

Here's a sampling: