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Editorial: Women’s team electrifies

Nobody can accuse the U.S. Women’s National soccer team of failing to deliver.

The squad’s glory-painted 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on Sunday didn’t just clinch the World Cup title, it was the team’s fourth, and second consecutive, after a 5-2 win against Japan in 2015.

The U.S. has now won the most FIFA Women’s World Cup titles in history, a record the U.S. team publicly set for itself four years ago.

It’s had a target on its back ever since. But these women were up to the challenge.

We’ve come a long way since the days when the women’s World Cup was all but ignored by the public, and the U.S. team won plenty of well-deserved praise as they bulldozed through the tournament.

And that included from New Mexico fans, hundreds of whom watched and celebrated the victory Sunday at Civic Plaza. Journal reporter Pilar Martinez and photographer Greg Sorber reported on the cheers and whistles “bouncing off the sides of the buildings surrounding Civic Plaza” in a front-page story and photographs in Monday’s Journal.

But amidst all its success, the team also caught an unnecessary amount of flack for everything from the unapologetic jubilation of each score in the lopsided Thailand match to co-captain and forward Megan Rapinoe’s fighting words on the current occupant of the White House to forward Alex Morgan’s celebratory “tea sip” during the semifinals against England.

It’s clear we still have some distance to go before American female athletes are no longer held to a different standard than their male counterparts. The national team will soon head into post-tournament negotiations with the U.S. Soccer Federation to hash out a pay inequity lawsuit; surely, a fresh World Cup title will strengthen their hand.

In the meantime, all American soccer fans can celebrate.

And to Morgan, Rapinoe, and teammates Morgan Brian, Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Ali Krieger, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long, Jessica McDonald, Samantha Mewis, Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett: Congratulations on your victory, and thank you for elevating the status of women’s sports.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.