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US women’s soccer a team worth cheering for

The United States Women’s Soccer Team probably invited all this attention, this spotlight, all this heat, if you will.

Good for them.

If a soccer team can do anything to even the playing field on this planet for women everywhere, I’m behind them every step of the way.

Paced by the outspoken Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. women earned a spot in Friday’s World Cup quarterfinal against the host team, France (3 p.m FOX-TV), by knocking off Spain, 2-1, on Monday.

As pivotal as Rapinoe was in the win, scoring both goals, she made giant headlines by noting there was no (expletive) way, she’d accept an invite to the White House.

Already engrossed in a political tussle for equality – the U.S. women have lobbied, fought and flat-out threatened to boycott the Cup without equal pay – Rapinoe upped the ante. And again, way to go, Megan.

The U.S. women, light years ahead of their male counterparts on a global scale (U.S. men’s soccer didn’t even qualify for the last World Cup), simply want equality.

And no forum in sports ever applied more

perfectly.

These women are not equal to the men. They pummel the men when it comes to success, popularity and even ratings.

Look, I’m not the most soccer-intelligent human being.

I can tell you the last, and perhaps only, transcending U.S. men’s soccer player was Alexi Lalas. He just celebrated his 49th birthday.

On the women’s side, along with Rapinoe, I know that Mia Hamm, Hope Solo and Brandi Chastain are all household names.

The women deserve better than men in this case, and good for Rapinoe and Co.

The White House rebuff? That’s strictly her/their commentary on the Trump Administration.

I’ll stay out of the political forum here, but this is good for women. It’s a good thing.

Thursday, at the pregame press conference, Rapinoe wasn’t backing down.

“I stand by the comments I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive – my mom would be very upset about that,” she said.

“Considering how much time and effort and pride we take in the platform that we have and using it for good and leaving the game in a better place and hopefully the world in a better place, I don’t think that I would want to go, and I think I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having it co-opted by an administration that doesn’t feel the same way or fight for the same things that we fight for.

“I’ll just leave it at that.”

Look, I have never rooted for either U.S. soccer team. The men always seem like they are trying to jam the game down our gullets.

And the women? They’re just too good.

I don’t like heavy favorites. I like underdogs.

But in this case, I’m making an exception.

I hope the U.S. women light France up Friday. And win the whole thing.

Their cause is simply too just to not embrace them.

TRIVIA TIME

Question: What did Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe and Marvin Barnes average for the world champion 1981 Boston Celtics.

The answer is 0.0.

All three, who represent the darkest days of Boston hoop history, were all gone by 1979.

Why this inane question?

Simple. Kemba Walker is a Band-Aid for the Boston Celtics, a $150 million Band-Aid.

When Red Auerbach brought Larry Bird in to open the greatest decade in NBA history, the 1980s, he made sure to eliminate all the horribly, cancerous pieces in that late-70s mess. Bird began basically from scratch.

Danny Ainge has not done that. He cut ties, reluctantly, with Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie was a giant malignancy, but that bad blood spread. And pieces of it remain. The Celtics are still tainted, and until Ainge finishes the job, they remain locked in NBA limbo.

Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or hlongo@nashuatelegraph.com.