The U.S. women’s national team rolled up a record-shattering 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday to get the side’s World Cup defense off to a flying start.
Alex Morgan scored five goals as seven different U.S. players got on the scoresheet against a team that was clearly overmatched.
The USA took a 3-0 lead into the break, scoring 10 times in the second half on the way to their dominant win.
And while USWNT players were quick to point out that there was little reason for them to dial back the scoring late in the match, it their celebrations for the goals scored late on caught some negative attention, particularly from former Canadian national team stars Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle.
“I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that,” Rustad said on TSN‘s broadcast of the match. “Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?”
Kyle was even less pleased, ripping the U.S. players, in particular Morgan, who could be seen counting goals on her fingers, saying she was “disgusted” seeing those kinds of antics from one of the World Cup favorites.
“They’re the No.1 team in the world and for me, I’m disgusted, honestly,” she said. “You’re going up against a team that’s first time in the World Cup, they’re just happy to be there. Celebrate, I get it, like a Mallory Pugh. But these people counting their goals, this … I’m embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete; there’s kids watching this and to be celebrating when it’s eight, nine, 10 …
“I said in the pre-game, yes, you want to score a lot of goals, yes, you want to make your mark because of the goal difference. But there’s a way to do it, and that is not the way for me.”
Despite the critics, USWNT legend Abby Wambach, the USA’s all-time leading scorer, was quick to jump to the defense of her former team, claiming that they were drawing unfair criticism from some circles.
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019
“For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited,” 2015 World Cup winner Wambach wrote via Twitter. “Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?”
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While Wambach asked the USWNT to continue to do its best to find more goals, she called on FIFA to give more resources to countries that need it. She also questioned whether the men’s national team would be under fire for a similar result.
“Really respecting the game and what you’ve worked for is to do your best at ALL times,” Wambach said. This is a call to @FIFAcom to do more and give more resources for some of these countries. It’s the World Cup folks. Would you say this about the men? Didn’t think so.”
Wambach, 39, added: “With all due respect: did you see @alexmorgan13 last two goals and her last assist?!!! They were world class. And this isn’t rec league soccer. This is THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!! Stop judging these women with patriarchal glasses. You would never say this about a men’s team. Period.”