The US Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup in a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on Sunday, July 7. So we’re celebrating by taking a look at some of their star players’ Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit shoot. And no surprise here, the shots are just as strong and beautiful as they are.
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, who also landed the most recent Sport’s Illustrated cover, joined fellow USWNT players Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper in St. Lucia to shoot a spread for the 2019’s swimsuit issue. Photographed by Ben Watts, the women showed off their toned physiques, playful attitude and impressive soccer skills donning a variety of chic and cool swimsuits.
Now that one battle’s won — the World Cup — they have another much more political one to fight. A few months before the tournament began, news broke that Rapinoe, Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation, insisting that they deserved to be paid the same as their male counterparts for international performances.
“Obviously, we would love to not be in this fight,” Rapinoe told SI Swimsuit. “We would love to not have to file this lawsuit and not have to engage in this, but that’s just not what’s happening.”
Although it hasn’t been settled, following the win on Sunday, Rapinoe told SI that FIFA president Gianni Infantino would “like to have a conversation” with her about his plans to invest more into the women’s game. With fans cheering “equal pay” in the stadium after the win, it seems like they don’t really have much of a choice.
Sport’s Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day weighed in on Instagram, posting pictures of the girls from the spread on Sunday while voicing her support. “Like so many, I wanted this so badly for you all, for your team and for the world to see just what 22 women can do. Win, yes but use your power for good in ways that will affect all of us,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “We all fight this battle as women whether we realize it or not. And you all are on the front lines taking the hits for us. I’m so SO proud to know you all. I’m so proud to be connected to this group of 22 women who fought like hell and don’t give any Fs. I’m so proud to know the women who took on the WORLD and WON.”