Megan Rapinoe of the United States Women’s National Team believes that her omission from the starting lineup was one of the biggest reasons that Team USA failed to defeat the Netherlands. In a post-match interview, the soccer star turned social justice warrior called out the decision that left her on the bench for the entirety of the game.
The 1-1 draw with the Dutch team puts the USA in a precarious position in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. With one match to play against Portugal on August 1, the team must either win or draw to advance to the next stage of the tournament. A win against the Netherlands would have all but clinched a spot in the round of 16.
“I think I could’ve helped,” Rapinoe said to the press immediately following the game. Once a center point of Team USA, Rapinoe has seen her role diminish with age. Manager Vlatko Andonovski left Rapinoe out of the starting lineup and decided against inserting her into the game in the second half.
Rapinoe continued, talking about the helpless feeling that she endured while watching her teammates fail to convert a winning goal. “All of us on the bench, we think we should be on the field as much as players on the field think they should be on the field,” she said.
“Every player on the field that starts the game thinks they should play 90 minutes, and every player who doesn’t, who’s a sub, thinks that they should be on at some point,” Rapinoe continued. Though it may not be wise to speak so negatively about her coach’s decision, Rapinoe may have a reason for gripe. She was brought on as a second-half substitute in the first group-stage game against Vietnam, a game with the USA won by a commanding three goals to nothing.
Rapinoe still thinks that she will have a crucial role to play in the tournament. While she may not be starting the games anymore, she is expecting to be needed in crucial situations down the road. She said, “We’re always ready. We know at some point during this tournament, obviously, the bench will be huge. That’s a huge asset of ours, a huge reason why we’ve been so successful with this group, obviously historically, winning championships in our past.”
It’s nice to see Megan Rapinoe take a break from battling for social justice causes or fighting back against the injustices that she faces as one of America’s most famous female athletes. There still is a nail-biting tension every time that Rapinoe steps up to a microphone. You simply can never know when she plans to spew some leftist talking points and attempt to make a fool of America on the world stage; fortunately for the greatest country on Earth, Rapinoe has yet to be successful in degrading the Star Spangled Banner.