The U.S. women are here to make a statement. On the field, to their opponents and, yes, even to those critics back home.
Carli Lloyd’s golf clap after the first of her two goals Sunday was the team’s way of saying they have no interest in acting like the “proper little ladies” some expect them to be. The 3-0 victory against Chile might not have looked as lopsided as that rout of Thailand, but they didn’t dial it back or tone it down one iota.
They’re the best team in the world and make no apologies for it, and if someone doesn’t like the way they celebrate, well, that sounds like somebody else’s problem.
“That this group is really fun and likes to have fun with each other,” Becky Sauerbrunn said when asked about the message behind Lloyd’s golf clap. “And likes to have fun with the public, as well.”
— The18 (@the18com) June 16, 2019
Everything in these first two World Cup games has been about the Americans building momentum and building cohesion. Only 14 players on the 23-woman team can play in any game, and there is a danger as the tournament goes along that those buried deep on the bench won’t be as engaged or feel as connected.
But there’s no telling when they might be called upon, so the challenge is to keep everyone invested.
That is what the celebrations in Tuesday night’s rout of Thailand were about. Making every person feel as if she is a vital part of the team, whether she gets on the field or not. The golf clap was something the entire team had agreed upon – Lloyd gave credit to Lindsey Horan for the initial idea – and Lloyd followed it by going to the sidelines and slapping with all of the bench players.
Julie Ertz did the same after her goal.
“It takes all 23 players. It takes the entire roster to ultimately lift this trophy,” said Lloyd, who became the first player to score a goal in six consecutive World Cup games. “We’ve obviously been on the bench supporting the starting group and then vice versa today. It’s just fun, fun to share in the goal celebrations.
“A lot of players on the bench are in my corner, and to go over to them and share in that moment is just really special.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Nancy Armour