At the end of the United States vs. Sweden women’s soccer telecast on Fox this past Sunday, ex-U.S. men’s team defender Alexi Lalas made a blunt statement: “The U.S. [women’s] team rubs some people the wrong way.” Lalas then suggested that be remedied.
Lalas is 100 percent correct.
This isn’t about results, though that end of it also needs fixed: The U.S. women lost on penalty kicks to Sweden, exiting the World Cup in the round of 16. It’s their earliest elimination from a tournament they’ve won four times, including the previous two.
But when the U.S. lost Sunday, social media blew up with Americans celebrating their national team’s defeat.
That stinks. But it's unfortunately understandable.
A national team should unite, not divide.
The U.S. men’s team hasn’t divided. The men’s team puts soccer first.
The U.S. women’s team became polarizing by constantly emphasizing their social viewpoint.
What’s the purpose of a national team?
Is it to win? The U.S. women didn’t.
Is it to grow soccer? Polarizing doesn’t help do that.
Is it to get paid? That happened. The U.S. women are compensated the same as the men.
With all the non-soccer agendas served by the U.S. women, what’s been accomplished in that regard?
Nothing, besides them getting more money. Ain’t that America?
The U.S. women can do what they want.
I don’t care, and that’s the problem.
UPDATE: Lalas doubled down with his comments on Twitter, and is drawing major heat: