And…breathe. The tournament is over, the USWNT won (again), the parties have finished up and it’s time to go home. Before we do though…90min’s had a presence wherever the US have been, and it only felt right to do a little notebook dump of all the little things we’ve noticed over the last month or so. And no, ‘they’re good at football’ doesn’t make it in. Some things I’ve heard Megan Rapinoe say over the last month: – “I hope the France game is a complete spectacle! Just an absolute media circus, I hope it’s huge and crazy, that’s what it should be…I hope it’s just a total shitshow circus, it’s going to be awesome.” – “Go gays! You can’t win a championship without gays on your team, it’s pretty much never been done before. Science, right there…to be gay and fabulous during Pride month at the World Cup is nice.” – “I stand by the comments that 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.” Abby Dahlkemper? Lindsey Horan? Rose Lavelle? Crystal Dunn? Mallory Pugh? Tierna Davidson? All 30 or (much) younger for the start of the next World Cup – just because Lloyd, Krieger, Rapinoe and co. are ageing out, does not mean the USWNT are going away any time soon. Hey! You know how sonnets are a type of poem? The ones that Shakespeare liked, with 14 lines and that tight rhyming structure, but specifically 14 lines? And then there’s a player on a team called Sonnett, and her squad number is 14, that can’t be a coincidence, right? We asked. It is. Fantastic footballer, absurd scoring record, once thrown out of Disney World for being drunk, over 100 international goals, did we mention the Disney thing? She’s also, and this isn’t necessarily a criticism, the closest thing to a media-trained robot that women’s football has when she’s talking to the press straight after coming off the pitch. Her ability to give a semi-earnest answer saying absolutely nothing is unmatched – the anti-Rapinoe. Again, not a criticism. She’s great at football and has had to deal with the media for a decade, it makes sense that she’s gotten good at this. But when you have to get a quote… The fans who were all over social media through the tournament were the Dutch – it’s pretty noticeable when there’s thousands of people dressed in bright orange – but nobody was close to the US in terms of sheer numbers. They might have been outnumbered once, at the quarter-final against France. The tournament was in France, that’s…you get why that happened. But even then, it was a close-run thing. Considering how bloody far away America is compared to the other seven European quarter-finalists (exemption for Sweden if you’re kind), it’s impressive as hell. It’s easy to see teams talk about how much winning matters, and how winning is the ‘only thing’, and roll your eyes. Of course they’d say that, ‘we’re just happy to get invited’ isn’t something you can say when you’re a pro. But the US…hell, they mean it. They live it. Everything this group does is geared towards winning – or winning more emphatically, or just winning more. They’ve won 12 games in a row at World Cups, no other team in history (men or women’s) can say the same. They’re winners.