■ On the suggestion that the team’s celebrations were excessive: “Wah, wah, wah. We’re at the World Cup. I don’t think anyone truly believes we disrespect the game or our opponents. What do you want us to do? We work hard. We like to play hard.”
■ On the idea that her decision not to sing the national anthem with her teammates was un-American: “I think that I’m particularly, uniquely and very deeply American. If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, the song and the anthem, and what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American.”
Throughout the roller-coaster month, Rapinoe maintained the support of her teammates. When President Trump singled her out for criticism on Twitter — in response to an interview in which she said, in coarse terms, that she was not interested in visiting the White House — defender Ali Krieger directed a tweet to the president in her teammate’s defense.
Christen Press, a highly capable player who might have played a starring role in this tournament were it not for the presence of Rapinoe ahead of her on the depth chart, described her as a “warrior” on and off the field, and called it a privilege to be her teammate.
“It’s been beautiful to see her fearlessness as we get to the highest level and the highest stages, that she doesn’t back away, she doesn’t shy, but the opposite: She gets even bigger,” Press said.
Rapinoe, 34, teared up last week when discussing how much Press had gone through this year with the death of her mother, and she became emotional as she talked about watching her younger teammates thriving at the tournament.
And after the American women won the trophy, Rapinoe was clearly moved by the moment she and her teammates were commanding.
“I feel this team is in the midst of changing the world around us as we live,” she said. “It’s just an incredible feeling. It’s something that’s very special.”