This edition of the USWNT has a claim to go down as the greatest U.S. women's soccer team ever, winning the most competitive Women's World Cup yet with the spotlight at its brightest, the target on its back glaring and outside pressures and attention raising the stakes to new heights.
The Netherlands didn't make life easy for the U.S. women's national team, but a more complete, adaptable squad found a way through–with some help from VAR–to put an emphatic finish on a dominant run to a fourth Women's World Cup title.
Megan Rapinoe seems contractually obligated to never be bland, and she was in her element ahead of the USA's Women's World Cup final vs. the Netherlands, tackling all topics from the opponent to the game's bigger-picture issues.
While the international women's game is evolving, the same can be said for the club side. As things continue to grow and as more top European clubs invest in women's teams, how will that change the equation for the top U.S. and international players?
Alyssa Naeher entered the Women's World Cup with big gloves to fill and questions that couldn't possibly be answered until called into action in the most pressing moments. With her heroics vs. England, she provided her response.
Eniola Aluko explains how England has progressed on the international stage since the 2012 Olympics and why the Lionesses are in a great position to contend with the powerhouse USA in a star-laden Women's World Cup semifinal.
Every time you wonder if Megan Rapinoe can handle the challenge that she has embraced—to be not just a world-class athlete but a force for social change in a turbulent time—she somehow finds a way to rise to the occasion.
Megan Rapinoe wanted a circus for USA and France's Women's World Cup quarterfinal, and she's starring in the center of it, but amid all the tweets, responses and White House reaction, the USWNT's leader keeps her calm as she grows into the occasion.
A potential USA-France quarterfinal showdown has been hyped since the Women's World Cup draw. Now that both teams have survived round-of-16 scares and set up the dream matchup, the parties involved can finally embrace a spectacle described in a way only Megan Rapinoe can put it.