I have to say I’ve been surprised to see some of the reaction to the USA team’s celebrations during the 13‑0 win against Thailand. I think some of it is to do with the fact that they aren’t the most popular team out there – there’s this perception that the USA are arrogant and everything is excessive and over the top with them.
But there is also a perception that women’s football should be all hugs, smiles and kisses – people do not expect a level of ruthlessness they might see in the men’s game. That kind of win-at-all-costs attitude is perhaps something people don’t expect from women. There’s still that unspoken rule that everything should be all “nicely‑nicely” but listen: this is a World Cup.
The ruthlessness of the USA team is what every other side in France should aspire to have too. That’s why they are the defending champions. I don’t really understand the concept that they shouldn’t have celebrated, because it would have been an even bigger disrespect to not celebrate.