LYON, France -- Megan Rapinoe continued to insist this week that she'll be available to play in Sunday's Women's World Cup final against the Netherlands, but the United States star admitted she may have already lost the competition for the tournament's most iconic celebration.
Unable to play in Tuesday's 2-1 semifinal win against England because of a hamstring injury, Rapinoe watched from the bench as teammate and co-captain Alex Morgan scored the decisive goal and then mimicked drinking from a cup of tea.
"I think I might have been upstaged," Rapinoe told reporters on Wednesday. "That was next level. That was pretty sharp by Alex."
The range and tone of U.S. goal celebrations has become one of the stories of the tournament, from the Americans continuing to celebrate goals through the end of a 13-0 opening win against Thailand to Rapinoe's arms-outstretched poses after scoring back-to-back braces against Spain and France to Morgan's choice of material in the semifinal.
Some around the world have criticized the U.S. for arrogance -- a claim winger Christen Press flatly rejected -- with a contingent of fans and media in England the latest to take exception.
"Wah, wah, wah," Rapinoe said in mock crying when asked for a response to the criticism. "We're at the World Cup, what do you want us to do? This is the biggest stage, the biggest moment.
"I don't think anyone truly believes that we disrespect the game or disrespect our opponents. We have the utmost respect for England and every team that we've faced and every team that we will face forever and ever. That's part of the DNA of this squad.
"With that said, we work hard, we like to play hard and we like to have fun and enjoy ourselves."
Next up is the final against the reigning European champions. After her team beat Sweden to reach its first World Cup final, Dutch midfielder Danielle van de Donk was asked if she thought Morgan had a new celebration lined up for Sunday.
"I don't think she's going to score against us," Van de Donk said.
Nor, apparently, have the Dutch been preparing counter measures.
"I don't think of celebrations or anything because I don't really care who scores," Van de Donk continued. "As long as someone does."