Professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who arguably became more famous for her protests of both the National Anthem and former President Donald Trump, just got a stunning smack in the face from reality.
She should have spent more time practicing soccer than she did protesting because the 36-year-old was left off of the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the SheBelieves Cup, ESPN reported.
U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski has called up a squad that mixes youth and experience for this month’s SheBelieves Cup, leaving out big names like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan in favor of up-and-comers like Sophia Smith and Ashley Sanchez.
The 23-player squad announced on Thursday will compete in the USWNT’s first games of 2022 when the Americans face the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Iceland in the SheBelieves Cup, which will be held Feb. 17-23.
The games will be played at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, and Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Veterans left out include some of the USWNT’s biggest attacking names, such as Rapinoe, Morgan, Tobin Heath and Christen Press. Andonovski said those players had been left off to make room for the players needing to prove themselves.
“All these players are very good players — we know that they’ve done so much for this team,” the coach said of Rapinoe and others who did not make the team. “But right now I want to give a chance to players like Sophia Smith and Mal Pugh and Catarina Macario, Ashley Hatch, players that have earned their spot on the national team or earn their spot back. I want to give them maximum minutes or whatever minutes they earn so we can evaluate every aspect of their game, in the training environment or game setting.”
And the veteran players who were not added to the roster may not get back on as simply as they want to.
“It doesn’t mean that all these players that have done well in the past are just going to come back here in the next camp because they’ve done well a year ago or two years ago,” he said. “There’s a reason why we’re not calling Mia Hamm or Julie Foudy in camp, right? So the same goes here: they need to perform, they need to play in their markets, they need to play well in their markets, and show that they can still contribute and be valuable for the national team.”
As The Western Journal reported, the USWNT was disappointed in the most recent Olympics, barely winning bronze when they were favored to win gold.
With Rapinoe, Morgan and Press all on the squad, the U.S. went just 1-1-1 in group play. The USWNT suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Sweden in its first game of the group stage.
After a 6-1 victory over outmatched New Zealand, Team USA slugged through a 0-0 draw with Australia and finished behind Sweden in Group G.
The USWNT needed penalty kicks to get past the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, and it fell 1-0 to Canada in the semifinals.
A 4-3 victory over Australia to earn the bronze medal was hardly exciting for a team that was heavily favored to win gold coming into the Olympics.
There were fans who cheered against their own nation’s team in the Olympics due to the activism of Rapinoe and others.
After the first time Rapinoe kneeled, at a 2016 game between the Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC, the USWNT was not impressed.
“Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Team,” it said. “In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. ”
“The nerve and the audacity to say what they did in that statement — it is an honor and a privilege that we all have in this country?” she said. “I don’t think so. I don’t think we do all have that in this country. So it missed the entire point, clearly.”
Now she does not have to concern herself with representing a nation that she thinks does not support her.