July 7, 2019 / 8:46 PM / 11 days ago

Soccer-Trump praises U.S. on World Cup success after row with captain

NEW YORK, July 7 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump joined the chorus of praise for the women’s national soccer team in the wake of their World Cup triumph on Sunday just days after a spat with the captain.

“Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!” tweeted Trump, who had exchanged barbs with player of the tournament Megan Rapinoe during the finals in France.

After Rapinoe, who led her side to victory on Sunday, told a reporter last month she would not go to the White House if the team were invited, Trump fired off a series of tweets saying: “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!...

“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”

He went on to promise a White House invitation to the team “win or lose.”

The United States duly claimed their fourth World Cup title with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Lyon, with goals from Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.

Former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also tweeted their the congratulations to the U.S. team, along with numerous other politicians, athletes and celebrities.

But Trump’s dispute with Rapinoe has raised doubts about whether the team will get a formal White House invitation.

English-born U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis said after Sunday’s final that she wasn’t counting on it.

“I haven’t been invited (and) I wouldn’t bet on that,” she said. (Reporting by Amy Tennery, additional reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by ken Ferris)

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