The USWNT has been eliminated, and instead of sadness, much of the country is thrilled with what happened.
The U.S. women’s national team crashed out of the 2023 World Cup here on Sunday, losing to longtime nemesis Sweden in the Round of 16 on penalties 5-4 after regulation finished 0-0.
Bad blood with the team started before their elimination as before every match they have had this year, much of the team remained mostly-silent during their country’s national anthem.
Against Sweden, a couple more players than usual sang along with “The Star Spangled Banner” while the rest stood quietly.
After a lackluster group stage, the U.S. entered Sunday morning’s game under pressure against Sweden.
Megan Rapinoe was also cheered after her penalty kick went high and wide.
Public confidence had faded during a 0-0 draw with Portugal and has been replaced for the celebration of their failures.
The USWNT is one of the most successful American international sporting teams, but has been controversial in recent history due to its treatment of the anthem.
Megan Rapinoe, who will retire after this World Cup, said in 2019 that she would “never put my hand over my heart” and “probably never sing the national anthem again.” She was one of the very first athletes to kneel during the Anthem soon after Colin Kaepernick did so in 2016.
Who knows what happens with the USWNT after this fiasco.
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