Tonight: The NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off
The NWSL season begins with a rematch of last year's Challenge Cup title game.
It’s July 2nd, 2019 — the Women’s World Cup is in full force, and the U.S. women’s national team is taking on England in hopes of securing their fifth appearance in a World Cup final. With only 30 minutes played, the two teams are deadlocked at 1-1: Christen Press is on the scoresheet for the States and Ellen White has notched one for England. In the 31st minute, Alex Morgan breaks the tie, scoring what will ultimately be the game-winning goal for the Americans.
In an instantly-iconic celebration, Morgan races to the sidelines and gestures as if she is sipping tea. As you might expect, it’s a controversial move. Following the game, some call the gesture “legendary,” “amazing,” and “all in good fun,” while others call it “utterly classless” and “distasteful.”
Alex Morgan trolling England by sipping tea is LEGENDARY ????????pic.twitter.com/BzIBNx0xzu— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 2, 2019
Though it may not have been Morgan’s intention, the celebration certainly ruffled some feathers, being seen as a parody of the English and their love of tea. Morgan later clarified that the celebration was “not a hit to England in any way,” and she didn’t mince words when adding her thoughts on the disparities between what is acceptable from male and female athletes.
“I feel there is some double-standard for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate, but not too much,” she told reporters. “You see men celebrating all around the world in big tournaments, you know, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is. And when I look at sipping a cup of tea, I’m a little taken aback, and you have to laugh about it to see all the criticism. So, I’m a little disappointed in that.”
Even with Morgan herself insisting that the celebration wasn’t a jab at England, it is unsurprising that Morgan’s move to the United Kingdom upon signing with Tottenham Hotspur this fall was met with mixed reactions. Many English soccer fans still had a bad taste in their mouth following that World Cup semi-final.
While it is no secret that Morgan has incredible potential with the Spurs, she is off to a rough start with her new club — and most recently, Morgan missed a penalty kick that cost Tottenham a much-needed win against Arsenal on November 18th.
Video clips and photos of Morgan’s “tea-sipping” celebration began to resurface as several Spurs fans took to Twitter to express their disdain for the American, asking “how that tea tastes now.”
Tea was too hot for Alex Morgan ???? https://t.co/0772HBuh0C— Sumaiya (@SumaiyaVawda) November 18, 2020
In the eyes of English football fans, Morgan needs to put her money where her mouth is… and quickly. It goes without saying that the expectations are high. But who better to shatter high expectations than Alex Morgan?
Tottenham is in desperate need of an impact player in the attacking third, and given Morgan’s impressive track record with her former teams, she could absolutely fill this void.
It’s worth noting that immediately following the loss against Arsenal, Tottenham head coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros were relieved of their duties and later replaced by former Arsenal assistant manager Rehanne Skinner. Hopefully, Skinner will be able to utilize Morgan in a way that allows her to showcase what she does best — getting on the scoresheet. However, a striker like Morgan is only as good as the offense that surrounds her. It will certainly take some tweaks to the Spurs lineup, but the potential to turn the season around is there.
The Spurs take the pitch again on December 6th, where they’ll face off against eighth-place squad Brighton & Hove Albion. Here’s hoping that we will witness Tottenham’s first win in the 2020/2021 season, and that Alex Morgan can be an integral part of it all.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United @ 7:30 a.m. EST
Everton vs. Manchester City @ 8:00 a.m. EST
Arsenal vs. Birmingham City @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Chelsea vs. West Ham @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Tottenham vs. Brighton & Hove Albion @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Reading FC vs. Bristol City @ 9:00 a.m. EST
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