Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle Lead U.S. Women’s National Team to Fourth World Cup Title
The rest of the world will have its turn. But not here. Not yet.
In a Women’s World Cup marked by European success, the United States is the last team standing. Slow at the start for the first time, the U.S. women came to life in the second half to beat the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday on second-half goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.
Rapinoe won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as its top player. Alex Morgan won the Silver Boot.
The fourth title overall for the United States also marks the first time it won back-to-back trophies.
But rather than repeating what was accomplished in 2015 or living up to the anniversary of 1999, Sunday belonged to a team built out of the disappointment of historic Olympic failure in 2016.
Jill Ellis, now validated as the longest-serving coach in U.S. history, challenged every player to compete for their places after that early exit in Brazil three years ago. Veterans responded, the likes of Rapinoe and Morgan lifting their games to new heights but also shaping the internal chemistry that players relied on in tough moments on and off the field. Able to arrive en masse and compete on equal footing, a new generation made its mark, Lavelle was the star Sunday but also a representative of a block of players who will be around for 2023 and 2027.