APTOPIX France US Netherlands WWCup Soccer

US players celebrate their victory in 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. US won 2:0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

The U.S. Women’s National Team capped a dominating World Cup performance Sunday with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands.

The U.S. squad clearly was the team to beat as it sought its second consecutive World Cup title, and while some sports teams have buckled under the weight of such lofty expectations, the women never wavered. It was a master class in using talent and confidence to handle the big moment, a lesson that transcends sports.

The team’s fourth World Cup title overall provides further evidence — as if more were needed — that the women deserve to be paid on par with the U.S. Men’s National Team. The case could even be made that the women deserve to be paid more than the men, given their far greater level of success and consistency (which also includes four Olympic gold medals).

If the U.S. Women’s National Team prevails in its equal-pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, it would be another important victory for a team that has established a tradition of excellence over the past two decades.

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The team already has contributed to women’s soccer in other ways, attracting record audiences and undoubtedly forcing other countries to think about how they can improve their programs. That should elevate international competition in years to come and increase the fan base for women’s soccer at home and abroad.

These accomplishments on and off the field would add to the legacy of a team all of us can be proud of.

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