The US Women’s team have been criticised by some corners of the world’s press after their goal celebrations were deemed disrespectful after running rampant over opponents Thailand.
Striker and co-captain Alex Morgan netted a record equalling five goals in the USA’s opening match.
The World Cup winner who will be hoping to mount a successful defence of their title spoke of the importance of building momentum for the rest of their campaign in a post match interview.
The USA go into this year’s World Cup in France as firm favourites to win a second successive World Cup and got their campaign off to a flying start after netting a record 13 goals.
In contrast their Thai opponents have only managed to win one match in 13 games and are ranked considerably lower in the FIFA world rankings.
Morgan and her teammates have drawn criticism about their lack of humility in the way they celebrated goal after goal as their lead began to build to a considerable number.
Two former Canadian players turned pundits claimed they were ‘disgusted’ and emphasised how it was ‘completely unnecessary” to celebrate goals in the latter stages of the game with such ferocity when they were so far ahead.
It is thought that the US players should have shown more humility and respected their opponents.
Although Morgan, speaking after the match, related the thumping win to building momentum for the rest of their campaign.
Morgan’s side still have to meet Chile and Sweden, who will likely represent more of a challenge to the world champions. Though it’s likely they will be key contenders come the knockout stages.
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Morgan, whose US team were the last to play their opening match, emphasised how she drew inspiration from watching the other teams compete over the last half week of the competition.
“Being the last group and having to watch all these amazing women out there fighting and showcasing all their talent they’ve worked their entire life [for]”.
Amidst this criticism it was co-captain Morgan herself who could be seen consoling a tearful US-born Thailand international Miranda Nild. Both women have represented the University of Berkeley’s California Golden Bears in their careers.
The USA will go into their next match against Chile on 16 June brimming with confidence. They were clinical in front of goal and will look to exploit a South American side that succumbed repeated Swedish attacks, although the Scandinavians failed to capitalise in such radical numbers.
The tournament has got off to a blistering start for the USA but they know all too well that when it comes to the knockout stages their goals will be much harder to come by.