- The first stateside appearance was a raucous party in front of fans who began camping out before dawn on short notice
- Most of the women will head home then reconvene Friday for the first NYC ticker tape parade since the 2012 New York Giants Super Bowl victory
18:25 EST, 7 July 2015
21:27 EST, 7 July 2015
The home celebrations are underway for the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national team and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has revealed they will be honored with a rare ticker tape parade.
The parade will travel through the city’s so-called Canyon of Heroes, a cavernous route through towering skyscrapers in downtown Manhattan.
The last ticker-tape parade in the city was held for the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory in 2012.
Carli Lloyd looked out over the cheering mob of U.S. women’s national team fans and raised an arm in triumph.
‘It feels great to wake up as a world champion, and that feeling won’t ever get old,’ Lloyd said.
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10,000 strong: U.S. women’s soccer team goalie Hope Solo, center, points to the crowd while celebrating the team’s World Cup championship during a public celebration 10,000 attendees strong in Los Angeles
The home celebrations got underway for the World Cup winners on Tuesday. The Americans were welcomed to downtown Los Angeles by an estimated crowd of 10,000 cheering fans at a rally in the first stop on a victory tour.
The first stateside appearance was a raucous party in front of fans who began camping out before dawn on short notice. Abby Wambach joyously lifted the World Cup trophy while the players led the crowd in chants of ‘I Believe That We Just Won!’
Lloyd’s hat trick in the final propelled the U.S. women to their record third World Cup title, routing Japan 5-2 on Sunday in Vancouver. The Americans hadn’t won soccer’s biggest prize since 1999, but Lloyd believes this team has done something comparably groundbreaking.
‘I know in `99 it was a huge turning point for women’s soccer, (but) I think we have just crushed history right now,’ said Lloyd, who scored six goals in the tournament. ‘With the amount of coverage, with social media, with everything else that’s been going on, I think there was no greater time to win a World Cup than now. … It’s an unbelievable moment. It’s something that’s going to last for years.’
Victory tour: The LA celebration was the first U.S. stop for the team since beating Japan in the Women’s World Cup final Sunday in Canada
Proud coach: U.S. women’s soccer team coach Jill Ellis, center, speaks as she celebrates the team’s World Cup championship on Tuesday
Popular ladies: An estimated 10,000 fans fill L.A. Live Plaza awaiting the arrival of the US Women’s World Cup soccer team championship rally
Stunned: The team spent the night in downtown LA before the rally, but could hear fans chanting down the street when they awoke. Even after everything they accomplished in the previous six weeks, the excitement still stunned them
The Los Angeles crowd was packed with boys and girls introduced to soccer by the tournament. Hundreds wore their favorite players’ shirts, while signs in the crowd included ‘Party Like It’s ’99,’ ‘Long Live the Queens,’ and ‘Equal Pay 4 (Female) Athletes.’
The team spent the night downtown before the rally, but could hear fans chanting down the street when they awoke. Even after everything they accomplished in the previous six weeks, the excitement still stunned them.
‘We didn’t know how many people were going to show up,’ Megan Rapinoe said. ‘We didn’t have this just a few years ago. We’ve earned it, and we’re proud of it. The atmosphere was just so much fun. It was a great party, and I like to enjoy myself.’
While defender Meghan Klingenberg filmed her team with a GoPro camera, Rapinoe took the microphone to introduce her teammates with various anecdotes, nicknames and embarrassing details. The fans roared for every player, but gave particularly loud cheers when Hope Solo addressed them.
‘It is so good to be back home!’ yelled Solo, the goalie who yielded just three goals in the entire tournament. ‘You guys have been the most awesome of fans throughout the entire time. I’m honored to be an American, I’m honored to play for this team and this country!’
Super fans: Amands Soto (left) and Viviana Nunez (right) await the start of a fan rally for the US women’s national soccer team in downtown Los Angeles, California, USA, 07 July 2015. The US team were honored at the rally by some 10,000 fans after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 final between the USA and Japan in Vancouver
Fired up: U.S. women’s soccer team forward Abby Wambach, center, fires up the crowd while celebrating the team’s World Cup championship
Singalong: The players also led a sing-along to Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’ before leaving the stage. Most of the women were headed home later Tuesday before reconvening in New York on Friday for a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes and a ceremony with Mayor Bill DeBlasio
The players also led a sing-along to Queen’s ‘We Are the Champions’ before leaving the stage. Most of the women were headed home later Tuesday before reconvening in New York on Friday for a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes and a ceremony with Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
Lloyd was already thinking further ahead, telling the crowd that ‘we’re going to have to bring it home in four years’ time.’
Lauren Holiday also was thinking about her future after scoring a goal in the World Cup final. The 27-year-old midfielder became emotional after the rally when she revealed she plans to retire from the U.S. national team after 10 years, seeing the World Cup as a perfect spot to leave.
The women share the hope that their victory will provide a lasting boost for women’s soccer stateside. NWSL teams have already seen an upsurge in ticket sales, but Rapinoe and Lloyd are cautiously confident that the boost is sustainable.
‘The tough thing is the World Cup is every four years,’ Lloyd said. ‘It’s not like a World Series or the Stanley Cup playoffs where it’s every year, but we do have the Olympics the following year, which is great. I think people will stick around. I think people will watch.’
Victory! USA’s team players celebrate their victory with the World Cup trophy at the end of the during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 final match between USA and Japan, at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver