Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan (courtesy photo)
By Lauren Bray, edhat staff
U.S. National Soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan drew big crowds and soccer players to the Arlington Theatre on Tuesday evening.
Off a recent World Cup win with the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT), the champions led "An Evening of Achievement" hosted by UC Santa Barbara's Arts and Lectures.
Before taking the stage, Rapinoe led a special training at Harder Stadium with 250 members of the UCSB women's soccer team, girls from the Santa Barbara Soccer Club and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) players. Morgan joined later as her knee injury prevented her from participating.
The theatre was nearly sold out as hordes of girls in soccer jerseys ranging from age 5 to 17 dodged through the lines to take their seats. There was a literal buzz in the air as these two decorated athletes and outspoken activists for women's rights and equality walked on stage.
The event was moderated by Catherine Remak, co-host of K-LITE's morning radio show. Clearly she had done her homework and asked the athletes a variety of questions from their soccer beginnings to current activism.
For those who avoided television screens for the month of June, Rapinoe and Morgan were co-captions of the USWNT who led their team to a monumental victory at the FIFA Women's World Cup in France. Rapinoe was awarded the tournament’s Golden Ball as its best player and the Golden Boot as its top goal-scorer, while Morgan has become one of the most prolific scorers in U.S. soccer history.
Rapinoe spoke of her early soccer career at the University of Portland where she played with her twin sister Rachael. She joked that they argued on the team more than anyone else screaming, "what are you doing?!"
Morgan grew up in Diamond Bar and played for UC Berkeley. She credits the university for introducing her to activism and opening up her mind after seeing her first protests on campus.
As winners of back-to-back World Cup's and being part of a team that's historically and consistently broken barriers, Remak asked if they feel they're on the best version of the USWNT. "The best team ever? Sure, the team I'm on," Rapinoe joked. Morgan added that the game is always changing and it's hard to really say.
With their tremendous win in the record books, Morgan and Rapinoe are creating a groundswell of support for women athletes and equality across the globe.
The evening ended with questions asked by a crowd of mostly young female soccer players. Nestled between questions of "what are you going to be for Halloween?" and "how do you block out the haters?" were poignant questions of what it feels like to be a role model for young girls and how much they feel that importance. In short they answered, possibly Pink Panther or a ghost and Handmaid's Tail for Halloween, block out the haters and don't let them get to you, and yes they take it seriously and want to provide a platform for other female athletes to achieve and experience equality in all its forms.