The highlight reel for Team USA's opening match in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 is very long. That's because they scored not once, not twice, but 13 times against their opponent Thailand.
Yes, that really happened. ???? pic.twitter.com/tPNFjsQFsk— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 12, 2019
Naturally, the players celebrated all 13 goals. Because...it's the World Cup! Which only comes around every four years. For a handful of players, not only was it their first World Cup goal, but their first World Cup match. The team shattered records. It was the most goals ever scored in a World Cup game, co-captain Alex Morgan tied with Michelle Akers for the most goals scored by a single player in a World Cup match, and Carli Lloyd, also a co-captain, is tied for having scored in five straight WWC matches.
But, naysayers called the team's celebrations "classless," "disrespectful" and "disgusting," arguing they should have been more muted considering their soccer federation operates at a much higher level. Canadian sports commentators Clare Rustad, Kaylyn Kyle and Diana Matheson said on air that the celebrations were simply "unacceptable" and "unnecessary." Social media users agreed.
So normally I agree with this, but in soccer it’s considered pouring it on if you score 4 or 5, clearly Thailand couldn’t compete, they knew it, the US knew it...I don’t care if you score 13 but you don’t have to be disrespectful when you are clearly the dominant team.— Jaryd Traer (@JarBear1326) June 11, 2019
You can play hard and still not act like a classless athlete. Just saying. ?????— Brad (@Glimjii) June 12, 2019
You can score but do not humiliate the other team— icecapboy (@icecapboy1) June 12, 2019
Other sports fans, by way of example, shared video of other dominant teams' victories over weaker opponents, like Germany's shutout of Estonia, which was much more muted. They suggested the U.S. be more like Germany.
U.S. Captain Alex Morgan, who scored five of Tuesday's goals and was involved in several others, responded to the criticism.
"I think it's disrespectful if we don't show up and give our best and play our game for 90 minutes," she said. "It's disrespectful to the Thai team. And I believe they wanted us to play them straight up."
These are goals her teammates have "dreamt of their lives," of course they're going to go nuts every time the ball hits the back of the net.
"I'm happy just ignoring those comments," Morgan concluded.
Go Team USA! Hopefully their next round of on field celebrations will be even more exuberant.