USA Women's Soccer Team Named Time's 2019 Athlete of the Year

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

United States' Megan Rapinoe lifts up a trophy after winning the Women's World Cup final soccer match between US and The Netherlands at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Time magazine has named the United States women's national soccer team its athlete of the year for 2019:

The honor comes five months after Team USA won the FIFA Women's World Cup for the second consecutive time. The Americans went undefeated en route to the World Cup final, where they beat the Netherlands 2-0 to clinch the title.

While the team earned the award as a group, it features several individual stars, including Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe.

More than 1 million people were on hand in New York City for the parade to celebrate the World Cup win, showing the impact the team had on the nation.

According to Sean Gregory of Time, Rapinoe is impressed by the fact that their win has continued to be a talking point months after: "It was like, Wow. We're in a movement, not a moment."

Despite winning consecutive Women's World Cups, the USWNT is in a constant battle to be treated equally to its male counterparts.

On the heels of the World Cup, the team took U.S. Soccer to court and was granted class-action status in the lawsuit, which aims for equal pay.

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The issue is far from resolved, but the USWNT seems to be making inroads. Earning equal pay would be a massive win for women's soccer across the globe since female players are generally paid far less than men.

The USWNT's play would have been sufficient for the Time Athlete of the Year distinction, but the impact the players are making away from the game likely cemented their status.