Megan Rapinoe Photo: Elsa Garrison/Getty Images

After a few days of being one of President Trump’s (eventual) Twitter targets, some thought tMegan Rapinoe and the U.S. Women’s National Team might be distracted as they faced their toughest opponent yet in France. Those people don’t know this U.S. Women’s National Team.

In a game she earlier described as a potential “total shitshow circus,” Rapinoe scored two goals as the USWNT took down host France 2-1, surviving a late game scare after a goal from Wendie Renard. They’ll now move on to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semis, where they’ll face England.

Concerns about the United States happened before the game even started. Head coach Jill Ellis decided to bench Lindsey Horan and compose a midfield of Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, and Samantha Mewis. That made fans uneasy and the midfield was a bit disjointed but it wasn’t a fatal blow to the team.

In typical USWNT fashion, they got off to a great start and scored early. This time, it was in the fifth minute as Rapinoe somehow sliced her free kick through just about everyone and get the lead.

France’s attacking strategy was clear: target left back Crystal Dunn. The forward turned defender has had to learn the left back position on the fly and she definitely got her toughest test against France but today the 26-year-old was the best defender among the USWNT back line.

After being criticized for not using any subs until the 85th minute against Spain, Jill Ellis made her first sub much earlier against France. While some could say it was still a bit late, Horan was subbed on for Lavelle and just a couple minutes later, the front triumvirate of Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe teamed up to double the lead for the United States.

In a close call, a potential third goal was disallowed for offside but the USWNT had a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes left and while France was attacking, they weren’t getting close to the goal.

Well, that was until the 81st minute and Wendie Renard got a head on the set piece to cut the deficit to one. On the replay, Mewis kept Renard onside and was caught ball watching as it sailed over her head and onto Renard’s for the goal.

That goal inspired France and the game was on for USA to protect their lead for the final 10 minutes. A handball no-call in the box upset French players but referee Kateryna Monzul stuck to her guns and didn’t even go to VAR. That would later seal the victory for the USWNT, continuing their streak of World Cup semifinal berths. USA has been in the semis of every World Cup and have placed no worse than third.

Looking ahead, the USWNT will face England on Tuesday. England trounced Norway 3-0 Thursday and that was while a sickness went through the team. After defeating the hosts, some may think it will result in a performance letdown by the U.S. Women’s National Team. Those people don’t know this U.S. Women’s National Team.

[Photo: Elsa Garrison/Getty Images]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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