The USWNT's efforts to secure three straight World Cup wins were ended by Sweden on Sunday, with the team knocked out of the tournament after Lina Hurtig's decisive seventh attempt in a penalty shootout was adjudged to have crossed the goal line by millimetres after initially appearing to have been saved by Alyssa Naeher.
The defeat capped off a month to forget for the U.S. -- eliminating the Americans before the semifinals for the first time, extending their winless run at the tournament to a record three games and, thanks to Zećira Mušović's best-on-ground performance, extending a scoring drought Down Under to 238 minutes, also the longest in their history on this stage.
That run of games without a win started in the group stage in a 1-1 draw with Netherlands, who would later go on to top the group and advance to a quarterfinal meeting with Spain after defeating South Africa in the round of 16. And while Beerensteyn still had respect for the team's accomplishments when asked about their elimination, she had little sympathy.
"From the first moment I heard they were out, I was just like, 'Yes! Bye!" the Juventus attacker told reporters on Thursday. "From the start of the tournament, they had really big mouths and were already talking about the final.
"I was thinking you first have to show it on the pitch before you talk [big]. I'm not being rude in that way, I still have a lot of respect for them, but now they're out of the tournament, and for me, it's a relief, and for them, it's something they will have to take with them in the future.
"Don't start to talk about something that is far away. I hope they will learn from that."
The USWNT is expected to go through a period of renewal in the coming years. Coach Vlatko Andonovski is unlikely to remain the coach of the side, and veterans such as Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz have already announced their retirements, with others expected to follow.
Players such as Sophia Smith (23), Trinity Rodman (21), Alyssa Thompson (18), Naomi Girma (23) and Catarina Macario (23) -- who was unavailable for selection in the World Cup squad after tearing her ACL in June 2022 -- will be at the forefront of that movement, even if a sense of urgency will be required to ensure the rising tide of global women's football doesn't envelop the program.
"They proved today, they're still an amazing team," Sweden stalwart Magdalena Eriksson said after eliminating the U.S. "They're definitely the toughest team we've faced so far in the tournament.
"They have amazing players. The youngsters really impressed me today. I think both Girma and Smith had an amazing game. So the future is bright.
"You also have Macario and [Mallory] Swanson that are injured. So the future is still bright for the U.S.
"They're still a massive powerhouse in women's football and they will be for a long time."