It’s the most wonderful time of the year—soccer time, baby—and today, we are celebrating the U.S. women’s soccer team advancing to the quarter finals of FIFA Women’s World Cup, after beating Spain 2-1. You will absolutely never catch me chanting “USA! USA!” (and I never root for the U.S. men’s soccer team), but watching the U.S. women’s dominate game after game this year has been delightful. Let’s take a minute now to appreciate how these star athletes flexed on their enemies yet again.
The U.S. women’s soccer team rules, no questions asked—but this side-eyeing youth in the front is my hero. Top-knot square on, she displays an unwavering sense of decorum during what would have otherwise been a very stressful time.
The joy captured in this photo, taken after the U.S. team’s first goal, is almost enough to make me want to join a sport. ALMOST.
Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh cheer (and hydrate) after cinching a U.S. victory.
Megan Rapinoe scores the winning goal against Spain, and immediately darts away—probably to hug a teammate.
I’ve been staring at this photo for several minutes and still no closer to knowing how this happened.
In soccer and in life, one must speak up in the face of injustice, and so Rapinoe objects to this referee’s yellow card. May we all be so bold in life’s difficult moments.