Women's World Cup: United States players criticised for 'embarrassing' celebrations in 13-0 Thailand win
Former internationals 'disgusted' by celebration in Thailand win
Alex Morgan scored five at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims as the reigning world champions recorded the biggest winning margin in World Cup history, across both men’s and women’s tournaments.
Jill Ellis’ side showed no mercy to their opponents, scoring 10 times in the second half alone, but their celebrations of each goal sat uneasily with some.
Taylor Twellman, the former U.S. men's international, said the celebrations left "a sour taste" in his mouth and Kaylyn Kyle, a former Canadian women's international, claimed to be “disgusted” and “embarrassed”.
While Kyle defended the likes of Mallory Pugh, who scored her first World Cup goal in Reims, she questioned whether the likes of Morgan and others could have toned their reactions down.
“They’re the No.1 team in the world and for me, I’m disgusted honestly,” she told TSN, Canada’s Women’s World Cup broadcaster.
“You’re going up against a team that’s first time in the World Cup, they’re just happy to be there. 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.”
Clare Rustad, another former Canada international working as a TSN pundit, was also left unimpressed by the U.S. celebrations, describing them as “unnecessary”.
“I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that,” she said. “Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary. What is this?”
Ellis herself was asked whether she felt her players had to be quite so ruthless in her post-match press conference, but dismissed the question.
The U.S. head coach asked: “Part of me is sitting here wondering, if this is 10-0 in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions?”
Abby Wambach, a Women’s World Cup winner with the U.S. in 2015, also came to the defence of her former team-mates and also wondered whether the same questions would be asked of men.
“For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is [their] 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?”