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A victory worthy of celebration

We hope you have taken a least a few moments during the last day or so to savor what happened Sunday on the world’s biggest soccer stage — the United States won the Women’s World Cup championship.

It’s an accomplishment that all Americans should be proud of.

The 2-0 victory over the Netherlands at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France, capped an interesting tournament in which the Americans scored a record 26 goals and extended their World Cup winning streak to 12 games. The title was the second in a row for the team that also won championships in 1991, 1999 and 2015, also a record.

It was fitting that the game-winning goal was scored by Megan Rapinoe. An extraordinarily talented player on a team made up of other players who possess world-class abilities, the 34-year-old Rapinoe became the oldest woman to score a goal in Women’s World Cup final. Her six goals and three assists allowed her to capture the Golden Boot award, which goes to the tournament’s top scorer, and Golden Ball award, which is presented to the top player.

She now has scored 50 goals in 158 international games.

Rapinoe has not backed away from using her position as a team leader to be an outspoken advocate for the women’s game, especially on the issue of pay. And the numbers indicate she is right. The Americans will receive $4 million for the win, which will come from a prize pool of $30 million. For perspective, the French men’s team earned $38 million for winning the 2018 World Cup title. And, while the prize money for the 2022 men’s World Cup will increase to $440 million, the women’s pool will stand at just $60 million for the 2023 tournament.

It’s an issue the FIFA, the sport’s international governing body, needs to address.

Rapinoe also took on President Donald Trump, saying in a video released earlier in the tournament that she would not take part in a trip to the White House if the team won the title and was invited. The president was quick to respond to her comments, but he also was among the first to offer congratulations to the team after Sunday’s victory, tweeting out that the championship game was “Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all.”

Indeed, America is, and we’re sure the team will be honored many times during the coming months beginning Wednesday, when it will be recognized with a ticker-tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.

The United States has won another women’s World Cup championship.

That’s something all Americans can celebrate.

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