On Tuesday, the US women's soccer team dismantled Thailand 13-0 in the World Cup opener for both teams. The 13 goals scored are a new record for a women's or men's World Cup match.
But after the game, the team received criticism on Canadian sports network TSN from a pair of former Canadian national team players who thought the Americans showed disrespect by continuing to score with the game out of reach, as well as celebrating each goal despite the score being as lopsided as it was.
"I’m embarrassed. I was a female professional athlete. There are kids watching this," Kaylyn Kyle said. "They’re the No. 1 team in the world. And for me, I’m disgusted, honestly. You’re going up against a team that’s their first time in the World Cup." (It's actually Thailand's second World Cup appearance.)
"I just think they could have won with some humility and grace, and they just couldn’t manage to do that... Celebrating goals later in the game like this is just completely unnecessary," Clare Rustad added.
On Wednesday, Alex Morgan, who scored five of USA's 13 goals Tuesday, dismissed that criticism.
"I think it's disrespectful if we don't show up and give our best, and play our game for 90 minutes. It's disrespectful to the Thai team, and I believe they wanted us to play them straight up," she said.
"And for the celebrations, these are goals we have dreamt of our entire life. I'm going to celebrate Mal Pugh's goal, I'm going to celebrate Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. This is their first World Cup, and I'm so proud of them. And I couldn't have dreamt of scoring five goals in a World Cup. So, you know, it's incredible for us all, and I'm happy just ignoring those comments."
Morgan was then asked whether she felt like her team is damned if it scores and damned if it doesn't.
"I feel more than damned if we do, damned if we don't within this team," she said. "It's like, what we say, what we don't say; what we stand for, what we don't stand for; what we do, what we don't do. You can never have everyone love you. So, that's how it is."
Former USWNT star Abby Wambach also chimed in, defending the team's goals and celebrations via Twitter. Wambach asked whether a men's team would have been criticized in the same way.
For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there.This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate.Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 11, 2019
The Americans did take time to console the Thai players following the game.