England is now the favorite to win the cup. The US lost in the last-16 round in a 5-4 shootout against Sweden, who now moves on in the tournement.
Rapinoe, who fought for the women's team to get equal pay to the men's team despite not being as popular or as profitable, and who has spoken out against her home country, missed a penalty kick during overtime. As she walked away from the field after the miss, she could be seen smirking, a look that struck many fans as inappropriate.
The team has also not engendered love from US fans, who criticized some on the team for not singing the National Anthem while others did during game starts. Team captain Rapinoe has been praised as "radical individualist, who compulsively draws attention to herself."
This was Rapinoe's final game playing for the US. She announced her retirement before the Cup began in Australia.
She cried on the field after the miss, as did many of team America's players. The loss to Sweden means the team that was focused on equity and self-aggrandizement, turning off many fans and potential fans in the US, is out of the tournement.
"This is dark comedy, I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game," she told Fox after the loss. "I feel really grateful and joyful and I know this is the end and that is sad. This is the only time I have been in one of these (losing on penalties at a World Cup) – it has been an honor."
"It is tough, it sucks. There was so much more in it for us," she said. In response to the laugh, she said it spoke more to her state of mind, which was focused on herself in that moment. "It's a sick, sick joke. I've never hit it over, when I miss they are saved."
Rapinoe has been an unpopular team captain with US fans. As the World Cup kicked off, she spoke out in favor of men being allowed to play on women's sports teams, saying "I see trans women as real women."
She claimed that "We as a country are trying to legislate away people's full humanity."
"It's particularly frustrating when women's sports is weaponized," she continued. "Oh, now we care about fairness? Now we care about women's sports? That's total bullsh*t. Show me all the trans people who are nefariously taking advantage of being trans in sports. It's just not happening."
Rapinoe said she would support a male playing on the women's international team if that male claimed to be transgender. She said it was wrong to ban males from the team, and from other women's soccer teams. Amateur men's teams are capable of destroying natinoally ranked women's teams.
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