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Mailbag: Favorite USWNT player, best and worst games, and more

Answering some random questions on a Friday.

Soccer: Womens World Cup-USA vs Netherlands Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Hi folks, let’s do another mailbag in honor of it being Friday (it is Friday, right?). I asked for general questions on my main account, and got a lot of good ones.

This time, I got three bangers from one person, Burgundy Wave’s Abbie Lang. Let’s work through these!

Thanks very much for these, Abbie. Let’s knock them down!

Favorite USWNT player

This one is easy for me, it’s Megan Rapinoe. I admire her on a lot of fronts.

She hit the very best cross I’ve ever seen in my life...

...and she was the player who pushed the U.S. on in the famous 2012 Olympics semifinal against Canada, keeping the tempo up when her teammates were flagging and it looked like the game would go to penalties.

She’s won two World Cups, with 2019 putting her into the stratosphere, as she became a somewhat unlikely central figure for the USWNT. After fighting hard to even be a regular for the National Team, Rapinoe seemed like she would forever be the midfielder who popped up with an occasional goal and was a complimentary piece for the Abby Wambachs, Alex Morgans and Carli Lloyds. But the 2019 squad had a mental toughness like no team I’ve seen in my life, and I think Rapinoe led the way in that quality, making her a fitting superstar.

Beyond that, Rapinoe is impressive off-the-field as well: One of the first USWNT stars to be publicly out as a lesbian, she blazed trails, and being one of the group that is fighting for equal pay puts her sporting accomplishments in recent years in sharp relief. Some players would crumble under the pressure, or get distracted by legal filings and dealing with the politics of U.S. Soccer, but she hasn’t. She’s someone who has made the most of her platform, and while her positions are not always popular, her intelligence and eloquence when explaining her perspective is exceptional.

So for all of that, Rapinoe is my favorite women’s player and honestly, probably my favorite player of all, period.

Worst/best soccer games

I’ve seen a lot of games, so it can be hard to remember them all. My worst personal experience, MLS edition was the 4th of July game last year between the Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution — storms delayed the game several hours, so much so that my family went to a family party over an hour away right around the time the game started, hung out for a good while, and returned home and went to bed literal hours before this ended. Here’s the recap I wrote from that one, woof.

The best game was probably the 2011 Gold Cup final, when the U.S. took a multigoal lead and collapsed, with Giovani dos Santos hitting a beautiful goal to wrap it up for Mexico.

I was at this game, and the energy was incredible. While I’m sure a lot of USMNT fans never want to think about this game again, it was a six-goal thriller with big swings, and the Rose Bowl was absolutely electric.

Something I hate that I don’t get why people love it

This one’s in mind because my kid has been watching it non-stop, but it’s “Scooby Doo.” I never understood the appeal of it, almost every episode hits the same beats, it feels like, and I don’t really understand why the characters are so beloved. I’m sure I’ll get pelters for this, but so be it, I’m prepared to take it.

What do you think, about “Scooby Doo,” your best/worst games or anything else? Do you have questions for a future mailbag? Leave them in the comments below!