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US Women’s Soccer Team Opens World Cup Play With 13-0 Win That Draws Criticism

Biggest Match Of The US Women’s Open The U.S. Women’s National Team has won the last two Women’s World Cup titles and clearly has no desire to see that...

(Photo Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images)

Biggest Match Of The US Women’s Open

The U.S. Women’s National Team has won the last two Women’s World Cup titles and clearly has no desire to see that streak end.

The U.S. side began to play on Tuesday in Reims, France and made Thailand its Toyland in 13-0 smearing. The scoring outburst set a record for the tournament, and then came the complaining from observers.

Shouldn’t be celebrating goals in a blowout, sniped Taylor Twellman, who played for the U.S. men’s team. Two Canadian analysts whined that the U.S. “could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that,” saying they were “disgusted.” (We note the humility and grace with which Toronto Raptors fans greeted Kevin Durant’s injury in the NBA Finals on Monday night. You’d have thought a national holiday had been declared). There was plenty more.

Now? My turn.

Shut up.

The U.S. team is ranked No. 1 world in the world. It is not the team’s fault No. 34 Thailand was completely outclassed. Second, you know that if this were the men’s team (which couldn’t even qualify for the last World Cup), there would be chest-thumping and woo-hoos over the big win. Third, a team should never stop trying to score. Teams that keep scoring do not find themselves on the short end of great comebacks and remembered for an upset loss.

Some years ago, as an NFL reporter for USA Today, I pressed coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots why he was trying to score late in a game his team would win 52-7. “We’re just playing,” he said. What, he asked me in return, were the Patriots supposed to do? Take a knee?

Others defended him, saying you would be showing more disrespect for your opponent if you stopped trying.

U.S. players consoled the Thai goalkeeper after the game and defended their play. As they should. Players who might not otherwise be on the pitch much got playing time and scored in the World Cup. The team set a tone for how it will go about business here.

“We really just came into this game and really wanted to showcase ourselves and what we’ve been preparing for and what we’ve been working on,” said Alex Morgan, who tied a record with her five goals. “I think we did that. Every goal matters in this tournament, and that’s what we were working on this game.”

Still unhappy? Keep that in mind when your favorite college football team wipes out some overmatched opponent. Keep telling yourself what poor sports the players and coaches must be. You’ll see how quickly you get over that.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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