While there were a few on-the-field things to take from the U.S. women’s national team’s victory over the Netherlands, there were some off-the-field items that offered themselves up for discussion. While our team in the press box did an excellent job wrapping things up, here’s a few things I saw from my vantage point in the stands.
—Obviously, one of the main storylines surrounded Megan Rapinoe and her decision to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem. This story is starting to heat up as espnW’s Graham Hays reports that Rapinoe could be disciplined for doing so. What I didn’t expect were the boos that she received after being subbed onto the field. It’s a bit understandable, though, especially given the fact that the game was being played in a more conservative area of the country than, for example, a more liberal state like California or New York. Still, it was somewhat strange to experience such a reaction.
It wasn’t a unanimous feeling, as you might imagine.
—That overshadowed one of the other off-the-field storylines. Alyssa Naeher got the start for Hope Solo, who was suspended for six months by the USSF due in part to her comments about the Swedish national team following the U.S.’s loss in the Olympic quarterfinals. There were several signs spotted in the crowd supporting Solo and decrying the Federation’s decision.
You can’t see the rest of the sign since it’s cut off, but it’s part of a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem:
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Here’s a better shot of it:
—Attendance was always going to be a wild card due to the U.S.’s failure to medal in the Olympics. While it was low (15,652), I expected it to be a little higher than it was, but it’s far from unusual. As a fan I spoke to yesterday reminded me, the Gold Cup semifinal matches last year - which involved the U.S. men’s national team - both sold out, so the low numbers should hardly be an indictment. It shouldn’t hurt Atlanta when it comes to the possibility of perhaps hosting one of the USMNT’s Hex matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium next year.