By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Megan Rapinoe lifted the Women's World Cup with the US Women's National Team this summer, but will her next challenge be off the pitch?
A poll shows that the US co-captain would beat Donald Trump in a 2020 presidential contest.
Supporters of the 34-year-old midfielder argue that she should run for the White House.
However, the footballer says that she is too busy to run for president.
In an article for The Week, Joel Mathis backs a call for Megan Rapinoe to run for US president.
He notes that there are three things we know to be true: the US Women's National Team is the best women's soccer team on the planet, Rapinoe is not a fan of Donald Trump and will not visit the White House to celebrate the World Cup victory, and there are entirely too many people running for president.
Mathis argues: "Rapinoe shouldn't dismiss the idea of visiting the White House entirely - she should just wait until she's ready to move in and live there.
"Yes, I'm saying Megan Rapinoe should run for president in 2020."
He praises the footballer for a "real history of accomplishment and excellence in her chosen field". She is also an advocate for LGBT rights, known for being "exuberantly out about her gayness".
Mathis asks: "Who better to challenge [Trump] on his weaknesses than one of America's strongest, most famous, and most successful women?"
He concludes: "Alas, Megan Rapinoe's candidacy for president is probably just a fantasy. Maybe someday, the occupant of the Oval Office will be a unifying figure, somebody our championship sports teams can again be proud and excited to visit.
"In the mean time, Rapinoe reminds us of what this country can be at its best: inspirational, proud, and excellent."
However, Rapinoe has ruled herself out of the race for the White House in 2020, the Independent reports.
During a victory parade with her US teammates in New York on Wednesday, she addressed the thousands of supporters who gathered to see the Women's World Cup winners.
The 34-year-old midfielder said: "I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain of this team with Carli [Lloyd] and Alex [Morgan]. It’s an absolute honour to lead this team out on the field.
"There’s no other place I would rather be. Even in a presidential race. I’m busy, I’m sorry."
She is a long-standing critic of Trump. In an interview with CNN, she said that Trump's message is "excluding people".
The Reign FC captain said: "You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.
"You’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world.
"You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone."
Rapinoe is a two-time Women's World Cup winner, a runner-up in the competition, and a gold medallist at the 2012 Olympics. She also won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at this summer's tournament in France.
The USWNT co-captain scored a penalty in the 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the World Cup final on July 7. She was also named player of the match.
A new poll by the Public Policy Polling found that Rapinoe would beat Trump in a 2020 presidential contest. It revealed that she led the president with 42 per cent of the vote, compared to Trump’s 41 per cent.
The polling was similar to that of other Democratic candidates pitted against Trump in previous surveys.