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So, just this once the “S” stands for “Sporty” and not “Straight” because, um – well, you know. The United States Women’s National Team opened their FIFA World Cup play with a 13-0 route of Thailand. A few naysayers said the ladies shouldn’t have run up the score like that. But 1) This is Group Round play so scores freaking matter, and the more you score the better you have a chance of moving to the next round, and 2) When do they ever ask male athletes playing at the highest level to take it down a notch?

Oh, yeah… Never.

Instead this opening match was yet another example of the startling performance vs. pay wage gap between men’s and women’s sports. The record-setting game for the USWNT was:

– The most goals ever in a Women’s or Men’s World Cup Game (13)
– Tied the most goals scored by a man or woman in a World Cup game (5 for Alex Morgan)
– The most ever second-half goals scored in a Women’s or Men’s World Cup Game (10)

In the last 17 years (between June 2002 and 2019), the USMNT has scored 12 goals in all its games of World Cup play.

Meanwhile, in under two hours this past Tuesday the USWNT scored 13 points in one game World Cup Play.

All this, of course, makes it all the more galling that the women’s national team makes so much less than the men’s national team. Like much, much less.

Bottom line: Women’s sports are exciting. Women athletes are exceptional. Women athletes deserve equal pay. Period.

And, just in case, this is how female members of the USWNT hug each other (with their legs in friendship and otherwise) when they score. And, I think we can all agree we’d like to see a lot more of that.

p.s. Special shout out to the out members of the USWNT (remember, I said out): Coach Jill Ellis, Forward Megan Rapinoe, Defender Ali Krieger and Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

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