Saturday 29 June 2019 17:34, UK
Megan Rapinoe says women's sides cannot succeed "without gays on your team" after her match-winning performance for USA against France on Friday night.
The winger scored both US goals in Paris as the Americans beat the hosts 2-1 in the Women's World Cup quarter-finals to set up a last-four clash with England.
Rapinoe, who came out publicly in 2012, has been outspoken in her criticism of US president Donald Trump, with footage emerging during the World Cup of her saying she would not accept an invite to the White House if the US won the tournament.
Rapinoe has not backed down following Trump's riposte though. Responding to a question after the victory over France about the significance of her performance coming during Pride month - Friday was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, and the eve of Paris' annual Pride parade - she said: "Go gays!"
Reiterating the importance of how inclusive the women's game is in general for players who are lesbian, gay or bisexual, Rapinoe added with a smile: "You can't win a championship without gays on your team - it's never been done before, ever. That's science, right there!
"I'm motivated by people who like me, who are fighting for the same things. I take more energy from that than from trying to prove anyone wrong. That's draining on yourself.
"But for me, to be gay and fabulous, during Pride Month at the World Cup, is nice."
While Rapinoe was the star of the show at the Parc des Princes on Friday, she admitted the US were not at their best despite seeing off France.
She said: "We didn't have the best night on the ball but defensively, the willingness and the discipline to do what we did was impressive.
"We were ruthless in our chances. Moving on to the next round, that's really all that matters."