World Cup

Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA player of the year award, calls to change the world through soccer


Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA player of the year award, calls to change the world through soccer

Megan Rapinoe took home the FIFA Women's Player of the Year Award for 2019 after leading Team USA to a FIFA World Cup Championship. 

Accepting her award in Italy, Rapinoe used her platform to call for change around the world through soccer. 

"I ask everyone here...lend your platform to other people. Lift other people up. Share your success. We have a unique opportunity in use this beautiful game to actually change the world for better. So that's my charge to everyone. I hope you take that to heart and do something, do anything."

You can watch Rapinoe's speech in full here:

The Reign have three games left on their regular season schedule and currently sit in fifth place in the NWSL standings


USWNT clinches spot in the 2020 Olympics


USWNT clinches spot in the 2020 Olympics

They’ve done it!

Seven months after winning the World Cup in France, they punched their ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympics after a dominating 4-0 win over Mexico in the Concacaf semifinal at Dignity Health Sports Park in front of 11,292 people. 

The USWNT left little doubt that they’d be in Japan this summer after taking a 2-0 win by the 14th minute with goals by Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

Mewis’ goal came off a corner kick from former University of Portland Pilots midfielder Megan Rapinoe. 

Their road to Tokyo wasn’t all that difficult after they had already secured three wins with ease in the group stage to go along with their semifinal victory that clinched one of the two berths from the Concacaf region. The top-ranked USWNT has not lost in over a year, which extends 27 matches.

The United States swept its group stage matches without giving up a goal. Lindsey Horan led the way with five goals.

Canada also secured clinched on Friday, defeating Costa Rica, 1-0. 

The United States will face Canada in the tournament's title game Sunday, although it’ll be mainly a friendly affair and for bragging rights. 

For the Thorns, they’re represented by goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan. Defender Emily Sonnett is also on the USWNT, but was recently traded from Portland to Orlando.

The USWNT will be the favorites for a fifth gold medal in seven attempts.

Portland Thorns, Reign FC players celebrate World Cup win at Parade of Champions

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Portland Thorns, Reign FC players celebrate World Cup win at Parade of Champions

The U.S. women’s soccer team won its fourth-consecutive World Cup title with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on July 7. Just days later, a party that began in Lyon, France continued 3,817 miles away in the streets of New York City.

Before the Parade of Champions began on Wednesday, USWNT and Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe took the stage at City Hall to deliver a poignant speech in front of thousands cladded in red, white and blue with "equal pay" signs. 

“This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less,” Rapinoe said. “Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place.”

Here’s a look at the USWNT co-captain’s memorable moment:

Following Rapinoe’s speech, the World Cup champs sipped champagne, erupted in dance moves and hopped on floats during the ticker-tape parade in their honor.

Here’s a look at some of the best videos and photos from the parade, including some celebratory posts from members of the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign FC, and of course, another tea-sipping celebration from Alex Morgan. 

[RELATED: The U.S. women’s soccer team is one step closer to their ultimate goal: Equal pay]

The U.S. women’s soccer team is one step closer to their ultimate goal: Equal pay

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The U.S. women’s soccer team is one step closer to their ultimate goal: Equal pay

Soccer fans from across the country lined the streets of New York City to celebrate the U.S. women’s soccer team’s World Cup Victory over the Netherlands. Thousands cheered, some shed tears. But one familiar chant was heard throughout the crowd on Wednesday:

“Equal pay, equal pay, equal pay.”

They were the same chants that rung out through the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon following the team’s fourth World Cup victory, and won’t likely retire anytime soon.

The U.S. women’s soccer team has been outspoken about its demands of equal pay. 28 players on the women’s national team, which includes Portland Thorns players Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Emily Sonnett and Adrianna Franch, sued the United States Soccer Federation in March, alleging they were paid less than their male counterparts even though they win more games and bring in more money.

The women will get bonuses from the USSF that are roughly five times less than the men would have earned for winning the World Cup.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo agrees it's time that the women be paid equally. Just moments before the team was honored in the Canyon of Heroes, Cuomo signed legislation that would eliminate a loophole that allows gender discrimination in pay for men and women’s the same jobs.

“They play the same game on the same field and by the way they it much better,” Cuomo said. “They are much more successful than the men. There is no rational reason based in economics that they are paid less.”

Around the same time, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democratic presidential candidate, appeared on CNN to share that he would sign an executive order to guarantee equal pay for male and female athletes. He added that he would require Congress to pass an amendment to the Amateur Sports Act, and in the event of that failing, he would sign an executive order which forces the U.S. Soccer Federation to pay up.

One resolution seems easy at this point: Pay the U.S. women what the U.S. men make. Until then, the USWNT's biggest battle off the field carries on. 

Social media reacts as U.S. beats Netherlands 2-0 to win second-consecutive title

Social media reacts as U.S. beats Netherlands 2-0 to win second-consecutive title

The U.S. women’s soccer team are World Cup champions, yet again. In a 2-0 win over the Netherlands on Sunday, the United States scored two goals to repeat as World Cup champions and the fourth time in team history.

After going scoreless in the first 61 minutes, a reckless, high kick against Alex Morgan was ruled a penalty in the box. Megan Rapinoe notched a goal at the far-post to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

Just moments later, in the 69th minute, Rose Lavelle stripped the ball and carried it up the field for a left-footed 17-yard shot in front of a sellout crowd in Lyon.

Here’s a look at how teams in the Pacific Northwest reacted to the USWNT’s stunning victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup final. 

Social media reacts to Christen YES, Morgan sippin' tea and the USWNT World Cup Finals bound

Social media reacts to Christen YES, Morgan sippin' tea and the USWNT World Cup Finals bound

Did you happen to call in "sick" to work today? Take a longer lunch than usual? Well, if so, hopefully you caught another epic women's World Cup match between the USWNT vs. England. 

Spoiler alert! The USWNT is World Cup finals bound! A 2-1 victory defeating rival England. Yes, rival indeed. Maybe you caught US star Alex Morgan sip tea after her goal, which would be the go-ahead goal to send the US into the finals. 

Let's jump right into how the social media world responded in support of the USWNT starting with the birthday girl Morgan:

But probably the play of the match was US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saving a PK that would have tied it up:

The USWNT was without Megan Rapinoe, the purple-haired soccer goddess that came into Tuesday's match scoring the previous four goals for the USWNT. She missed today's game due to a minor hamstring issue:

Hopefully she will be okay and ready to go in the World Cup Finals, this Sunday at 8 a.m. (PT).


Social media reacts as Megan Rapinoe's two-goal performance lifts U.S. over France in World Cup quarterfinals

Social media reacts as Megan Rapinoe's two-goal performance lifts U.S. over France in World Cup quarterfinals

What a thriller.

In a quarterfinals clash in front of thousands of soccer fans in France, the U.S. women’s national soccer team took down the host nation with a 2-1 victory.

Megan Rapinoe could not be stopped. The national team co-captain scored both goals for the U.S., one of which came in the opening five minutes of play and another during the 65th. Rapinoe has five goals in the World Cup thus far.

The U.S. is now headed to Lyon, where it will play England in the semifinals and be one round closer to a fourth, World Cup title.

Before we move on to the Tuesday’s matchup, let’s take a look at some of the best moments from the semifinals on social media, including a lot of love for Rapinoe’s dominant performance.

USWNT: Baguettes, escargot, macaroons and the pursuit of Gold heading into bracket play

USWNT: Baguettes, escargot, macaroons and the pursuit of Gold heading into bracket play

Le Havre, France - After a 2-0 win today over Sweden in its final pool play game, the USWNT now advances to bracket play at the World Cup. 

How they got here:

It has been all red, white, and blue at the top of Group F (USA, Sweden, Chile, Thailand). It all started with a 13-0 win over Thailand. That is not a football score (with a missed extra point). That is not a typo. That is indeed a soccer score. The U.S. controlled possession for 73% of the game, took 40 shots (20 on target), while holding Thailand to just two shots (both on target). Utter dominance. 

Then came Chile, who like to pull back numbers and control the defensive end of the ball. Well, it was a great idea seeing as the U.S. has Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Tobin Heath lurking at forward, but those three did not record any minutes in that game and the U.S. still came away with the 3-0 victory. 

Next, in what would probably be the closest game of the three pool play games, was Sweden. Both teams coming into this game already qualified for the next round. So not a lot on the line… except there was… In 2016, Sweden knocked the U.S. out of the 2016 Summer Olympics in the quarterfinals, the earliest the USWNT has ever been eliminated in a major tournament. The U.S. got its revenge with a little help from Portland Thorns’ players Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory.

Regardless, onto the next one.

How bracket play works:

It’s quite simple: survive and advance. Win or go home. The U.S. starts by facing Spain in the round of 16, who finished second in its group behind Germany. 

Let the hypotheticals begin and if you’re a superstitious person, stop reading or knock on a lot of wood:

The U.S. would then face the hometown heroes of France in the quarterfinals, and then their opponent for semifinals and finals is to be determined. 

The USWNT will face off against Spain on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 9 a.m. (PT).

Get money, get paid right? Not in the case for the USWNT

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Get money, get paid right? Not in the case for the USWNT

It’s not about the money. Well, it’s not ALL about the money. It is the driving factor and the one thing that you can put a monetary value to, but this movement is for equal opportunity for the US Women’s National Team as the US Men's National Team. This issue runs so much deeper than a paycheck. And thus, a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

In an article written by Wall Street Journal senior sports reporter Rachel Bachman, “In the suit, all 28 members of the U.S. women’s national team player pool allege U.S. Soccer has paid them less than the men’s team, along with denying them equal playing, training and travel conditions and promoting their games less.”

Let’s chat a bit about revenue: How much money each team is bringing in? According to the audited financial reports from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. women’s games generated more total revenue than the U.S. men’s games, in terms of gate receipts. 

Gate receipts are a significant portion of revenue, but there are other contributing factors such as broadcast rights and T.V. deals. In terms of broadcasting rights, this is a key part of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s defense: “Any alleged pay differential between the men’s and women’s teams is based on the differences in the aggregate revenue generates by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex.”

The two teams are separated by revenue, however, as stated by Bachman, U.S. Soccer sells broadcast rights and sponsorships as a bundle, and not separating USWNT and USMNT. 

Kudos to the organizations who are fighting alongside the USWNT for equal opportunity like VISA and Secret deodorant.

This isn’t a dig on the men’s team. Yes, the women’s team is historically better with four Olympic gold medals and three World Cup titles (and currently playing for a fourth in France), while the men’s has never won and failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. 

It’s not just equal pay that the USWNT team is fighting for. It’s equal opportunity: travel amenities such as hotels and flights, playing surfaces (artificial turf vs. natural grass), everything similar to the USMNT. 

Next up at the World Cup for the USWNT is against rival Sweden on Thursday at 11 a.m. (PT).

Women's World Cup: Team USA - To score or not to score?

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Women's World Cup: Team USA - To score or not to score?

Dear soccer fans,

There are two arguments here after team USA’s dominant and historical 13-0 win over Thailand at the World Cup on Tuesday: One, the fact that the red, white, and blue ran the score up to 13 goals on the day. Two, the fact that the celebrations kept coming as the score continued to rise. 

Some saw it as selfish and unsportsmanlike.

Others, a complete dominate performance. 

Let’s first talk about the amount of goals the United States put up. 

For those of you who are maybe just dipping their toe in the World Cup soccer world, there is more to advancing in this tournament than just a “W” at the end of the game. The amount of goals you score also is a factor, and a big one. If there was a situation where there was a tie between one or two teams in a particular group, the tie breaker is goal differential. 

Looking specifically at Group F (USA, Sweden, Chile, and Thailand), the United States is at the top but just behind them is Sweden and they can run up a score just as powerful as the U.S. So yes, scoring goals and scoring a lot of them is important in this best-of-the-best tournament.  

After the 13-0 victory, former USWNT and current Fox Soccer analyst Heather O’Reilly explained that it can be seen as a sign of disrespect to “let up” in competition. “It’s the best way to show respect [to your opponent]. These countries need to improve and Thailand will improve.” 

To say that the U.S. should have stalled, played keep away, worked the ball around, is a sign of disrespect to your opponent. Play the game as it’s meant to be played: go for goals.

Next, the celebrations.

We see this all the time in sports. Players getting pumped up after a big time play. Jayson Tatum tomahawk jammed over LeBron and then screamed in his face. Allen Iverson hit a step back jumper and then stepped over Tyronne Lue during a game. Marshawn Lynch grabs his junk before jumping into the end zone… so why are any of these different than the USWNT scoring goals? Is it just the amount of celebrations? Or do you place the acts under the same unsportsmanlike umbrella? One of the key differences here is those acts are "in your face" acts. 

“You do want the game to be celebrated and you do want to see players having fun but at the same time I thought some of the celebrations were a little overboard. A few seemed planned out and I do know some players spend a lot of time thinking about celebrations for the fans. It's not always necessary. We haven't won the World Cup yet,” said former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo.

I understand this. I get it. Score the goal and move on. Act like you’ve been there before. 

But for some of the women on the team, they haven’t been on this biggest soccer stage before.

Four out of 10 of the goals were scored by those who were making their USWNT debuts, so yeah, they are going to celebrate. I went back and looked at all 13 goals. All of the celebrations weren’t in the faces of any Thailand players. The U.S. ran to one another for a big hug or to the sideline to celebrate with their bench players and coaches. 

“First of all, this is the World Cup,” said Megan Rapinoe in an interview with Fox Soccer on Wednesday. “This is something that Lindsey, Sam, Rose, Mal, have been dreaming about for their whole lives. So you can’t fault them for that joy. If anyone wants to come at our team for not doing the right thing, not playing the right way, not being the right ambassador for the sport, they can come at us [the veterans]. I think our only crime was an explosion of passion.” 

It’s apart of the soccer culture. Arguably the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, has his own trademark celebration and if you think he doesn’t pull that out if his team isn’t up 8-2, you’re sorely mistaken.