Just before halftime at Tuesday’s 2019 World Cup semifinal match between the USA and England, co-captain Alex Morgan made waves by bringing the U.S. ahead 2-1 and breaking an early tie with her goal.
But Morgan’s best move wasn’t just burying the ball in the net. It was her celebratory gesture afterward: an exaggerated sip of tea that turned out to predict events to come.
Tea, of course, is that most traditional of British beverages. While no one knows for sure what the World Cup celebration was really about, Morgan’s gesture had even more significance for fans given the timing of the match: during the week of July 4, the U.S.’s Independence Day in 1776, celebrating the former colony’s motion to break free of colonial British rule.
Also, anyone who remembers their U.S. History course in high school might recall the iconic Boston Tea Party, in which independence-minded Americans dumped British tea stores into the bay in a show of defiance.
“My celebration was actually more ‘that’s the tea,’ which is telling a story, spreading news,” the U.S. forward later told the Associated Press.
Naturally, U.S. soccer fans couldn’t help but get excited over Morgan’s masterful trolling of the British team during the World Cup match. It doesn’t hurt that Morgan also celebrated her 30th birthday during the game. And the icing on the (fruit) cake: that goal ended up being the final number posted on the scoreboard. The U.S. took home the game in a scoreless second half, securing their spot in the World Cup final. They’ll be matched up against either the Netherlands or Sweden on Sunday, July 7 for the final showdown.
After the match, Morgan explained her gesture: “I wanted to keep it interesting,” reportedly said after the game. “I know Megan Rapinoe has the best celebration. I had to try and step up this game.” And that, as they say, is the tea.
And Morgan had the last word on Twitter.
“This team is special. Thanks for the bday love. Thanks for the rocking stadium. Thanks for continuing to believe with us. And that’s the tea,” she wrote.
Megan Rapinoe addressed the commentary on the move later in a video for SNTV, which you can watch below..