A Legacy To Remember
The U.S. women’s soccer team remains the world’s best after dominating the Netherlands in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup after winning 2-0. Facing a team that seemed to get better as the tournament progressed, the final was the toughest test. The Netherlands kept their opponents from scoring in each of the knockout games before the final and had not trailed or lost a game in the tournament. The USWNT, who had previously scored in the first 12 minutes of their previous 6 matches, were held to a 0-0 tie at the half by the Dutch. In typical fashion, however, the U.S. brushed aside all of the adversity and came out on top, winning all seven World Cup games with the utmost confidence.
The Rise Of Rose Lavelle
On a team assembled with top-class veterans and rising stars, America gained yet another superstar in the name of Rose Lavelle. Lavelle, a 5-foot-4, 24-year-old from Cincinnati, was playing in her first World Cup and making the most of the opportunity. Although standing out as the smallest player on Jill Ellis’ 23-woman roster, she was by far the most driven. She embraced her role and helped the team absolutely dominate their opponents with her class, skills and speed on the pitch. She quickly became a nightmare matchup for their opponents.
Just 4 years ago, as the USWNT fought in the 2015 World Cup, Lavelle was not on the team. She was actually watching at a pizza shop with a handful of teammates from an amateur Seattle summer league team. Clearly, a lot has changed for America’s new superstar. She became the breakthrough player of the tournament, earned the Bronze Ball and became the second youngest player to score in a WWC Final. Better yet, Cincinnati already has a mural of her on the streets! Lavelle captured America’s heart and we are excited to watch her and the women’s soccer game continue to grow in years to come.
Personal and Team Achievements
The squad will be remembered as one of the best teams in sports history. Check out some of their personal and team achievements below from this year’s World Cup:
- Forward Megan Rapinoe became only the second American woman to win the coveted Golden Boot award for the tournament’s top scorer. She also won the Golden Ball, the award given to the top player in the tournament.
- Alex Morgan was awarded the Silver Boot behind Rapinoe, who won the third tiebreaker, having played fewer minutes than Morgan in the tournament.
- Rose Lavelle (24 years, 54 days) is the 2nd-youngest American to score in a World Cup Final, trailing only Alex Morgan (22 years, 15 days) in 2011. She also earned the Bronze Ball (3rd best player in the tournament).
- The USWNT has now broken the record for most goals in a single FIFA Women’s World Cup (currently at 26) along with the best goal differential in any tournament with 23.
- The 13-0 defeat against Thailand was the highest margin of victory in a single match — in both women’s and men’s World Cup soccer history.
- Co-captain Alex Morgan tied for the most individual goals in a single women’s World Cup game in the group stage match-up with Thailand. The forward scored five goals in the match, tying her with a record previously set by Michelle Akers, also a U.S. forward, in 1991.
- Jill Ellis, the coach for the USWNT, became the first women’s coach ever to win two World Cup titles in soccer history. This feat has only been achieved by Italy’s men’s coach, Vittorio Pozzo, in 1934 and 1938.
- The U.S. never trailed in any of their 7 World Cup matches.
NWSL Secures TV Deal, Sponsorship for 2019 Season
During the early morning hours prior to the Women’s World Cup Final between the U.S. and the Netherlands, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) publicly announced that they secured a TV deal through the rest of the 2019 season with ESPN. The broadcast will air 14 games, including the semifinals and the championship. The NWSL previously partnered with Lifetime for a TV deal, however the two sides parted ways one year ahead of what they had scheduled, causing many questions and concerns about the NWSL and its future.
Along with this broadcast deal, the NWSL announced a multi-year deal with major national sponsor Budweiser. The deal was made in conjunction with US Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, giving Budweiser the naming rights to the playoffs, championship, and the MVP trophy for the upcoming season. By partnering with both ESPN and Budweiser, the NWSL hopes to boost the league’s audience and popularity for years to come.