Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

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Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre
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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.

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Flicka Oct 18, 2019 01:55 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

I believe the women in soccer are paid less than men on soccer teams, it's one thing they are fighting for, EQUALITY. It is pretty much the same in the workplace where women doing the same job as men get less pay. The late local writer, Bill Downey, said when he was hired by the News-Press he was told they could only afford to pay him "women's wages". Long time ago but things haven't changed much.

Alexblue Oct 18, 2019 05:20 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Since 2016 the USWNT has generated more revenue than the men and they are paid less. We aren't talking about MLS and NWSL we are talking about the USWNT vs. the USMNT.

forrestmv18 Oct 18, 2019 04:14 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

They do not generate any where near the same amount of money as men do in their respective sports. Further, the women get guarantees for playing on the Olympic squad that are beyond similar guarantees for men. If you understand how elite soccer functions you realize this comparison is incorrect and has nothing to do with any legitimate women's issues about dissimilar pay...

a-1574324578 Oct 18, 2019 12:43 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Even to a casual non-political observer, Rapinoe pulls out her "victim" card all too often. No one cares that she is a lesbian activist. No one cares that she is vocal about the prez. She is a multi-millionaire who can afford to speak her mind. I would hope that she uses her position in a positive manner, instead of what she is doing now. Hate only begets hate. Namaste my good friends.

Alexblue Oct 18, 2019 05:23 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Yeah, you're "non-political." How often does she talk about being gay? How often does she talk about being a victim? How many times is too many times for poor little orange snowflakes like you? I'm exactly one hundred percent certain that there are people that care about and support and are inspired by her being an out gay woman activist. Maybe you should just, you know, pay attention to something you enjoy.

SBsurferlife Oct 18, 2019 01:07 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

@12:43, You seem to be taking "casual observer" way too seriously as you're incorrect in your sentiments. She didn't mention the President once during the Arlington lecture and only spoke of positivity for female athletes and equality for ALL athletes. In fact, she doesn't even bring him up in interviews, but reporters do and she responds. And unfortunately all female soccer players are not multi-millionaires, but they should be based on their high level of performance, fan base, ticket sales, merch sales, winning streak, endorsements, etc. That's exactly what they're fighting for, equality.

a-1574324578 Oct 18, 2019 09:31 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

I had no idea her world was full of monsters that she had to fight off daily. All the time spent insulting everyone and disrespecting her teammates for her own favor and all.

a-1574324578 Oct 18, 2019 08:53 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Yea standing up to bullies is not considered a "role model" anymore. Now blindly leading a corrupt and morally bankrupt leader is what we want for our kids. Great job!

oops Oct 18, 2019 07:17 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

I am a big fan of the Womens team & their accomplishments. I was truly disappointed when they refused to visit the Whitehouse - they represent the USA. What better way to have a dialogue of your views than directly with the President of the USA. Isn't that the lesson we want them to be teaching our youngsters. Instead they said "f the Prez & the visit". Rather than having a honest & open dialogue, they take their ball & go home. That isn't being a role model in my view, sadly disappointing.

Alexblue Oct 18, 2019 10:01 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Oops--false. In fact she was very clear to take responsibility for her views and comments as an individual. She also has made very clear that there are people on the team who disagree with her views and she has stressed how wonderful and fantastic it is that they can put those disagreements aside in order to work together in a positive fashion to achieve something great. See, that's what role models do. Unlike your infant President, who has achieved power and holds it by finding people to target and tear down on a daily basis, spreading hate, conspiracy theories and fear to an audience of gullible rubes.

Lina24 Oct 18, 2019 09:51 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

My thoughts exactly. It would be an excercise in futility. How can you have an open and honest dialogue with a pathological liar who tries to bluff his way through the presidency. He's a joke. A very dangerous one at that.

Alexblue Oct 18, 2019 09:38 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Hi, Oops, why is it that so many of Trump's cult members lie at every opportunity? "They" didn't say "F the President"--Rapinoe did. So why would you attack the entire USWNT based on your disagreement with one player expressing her views?

a-1574324578 Oct 18, 2019 08:15 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Oops, I find it hilarious you put "honest" and "open dialogue" in the same sentence as the President. hahaha. Two things he is factually awful at. Unless facts aren't your thing.

EastBeach Oct 17, 2019 11:20 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Watching this year's womens' World Cup was great fun. Lots of people in my office were working flex schedules so they could watch the games. Rapinoe and Morgan are positive role models for our kids.

a-1574324578 Oct 17, 2019 10:25 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

Hey, I was there with my son who was equally as excited to see soccer hero’s in his own home town after watching them perform at the highest level in soccer this past summer. It was an extra special privilege.

Alexblue Oct 17, 2019 06:52 PM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

When I watch our incredible USWNT win their back to back world championship, I had wonderful feelings of pride in our country and admiration for the strength, drive, ambition and team work that the team displayed at every turn. I can't imagine how miserable a person would be to be compelled to try (and fail miserably) to tear down this amazing group of women, but I know for a fact that their petty hatred of women must come from a place of deep insecurity.

a-1574324578 Oct 18, 2019 09:54 AM
Soccer Stars Delighted Crowds at Arlington Theatre

You may not know this, but the United States has a form of football called the gridiron football. It's displayed in the NCAA and then NFL. It has systematically groomed players for that style of football, as opposed to Rugby or Soccer. For decades boys have been taught that it's the cool sport. Playing Soccer is secondary at best and rugby nearly non-existent. Should that attitude change? Sure. But there's a reason men's soccer isn't favored.

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