USWNT draws fire for running up score, celebrating: 'I'm disgusted ... there are kids watching'

The U.S. women’s national team opened World Cup play on Tuesday in dominant, historic fashion.

Their 13-0 victory over Thailand was a record margin for the Women’s World Cup and cause for elation for the team and its fans. Alex Morgan’s individual tally of five goals tied a tournament record.

But as the USWNT celebrated turning a 3-0 halftime rout into a new standard for dominant play against an overmatched opponent, some took umbrage with not only the margin — but the players’ continued celebration of the scores well after the game was in hand.

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‘There are kids watching’

Clare Rustad and Kaylyn Kyle, analysts for Canadian sports network TSN and former players for the Canadian women’s national team, had some of the strongest rebukes.

"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that," Rustad said."Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary.”

Kyle grabbed the baton from Rustad and ran full bore into “disgusted” territory.

“What is this?” Kyle responded. “They’re the No. 1 team in the world. And for me, I’m disgusted, honestly. You’re going up against a team that’s their first time in the World Cup. They’re just happy to be there. ... I’m embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete. There are kids watching this.”

It’s actually the second time Thailand made the World Cup after the team’s debut in 2015.

Not everybody was pleased with how the USWNT handled itself during an historic World Cup rout. (Getty)
Not everybody was pleased with how the USWNT handled itself during an historic World Cup rout. (Getty)

Rustad, Kyle weren’t alone in criticism

Like with Kyle and Rustad, the score wasn’t the primary issue for many critics, but how the players handled themselves and the fact that such a disparate matchup was allowed to take place to begin with.

The counterargument

Of course as with most everything involving social media, there were strongly worded takes on the other side, with many questioning if a men’s team would receive the same criticism.

Of course the U.S. men’s national team didn’t even make the most recent World Cup, much less beat an opponent by double digits, so there’s no real comparable to hold Tuesday’s result up against.

Goal differential is in play

And of course, there’s the indisputable point that World Cup teams are incentivized to score as many goals as possible with goal differential acting as a tiebreaker — though it’s an argument that doesn’t address the celebrations.

One presidential candidate saw the controversy as an in to plant her flag on women’s issues.

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