The United States Women’s National Soccer team paraded through the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan, receiving keys to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio during a post parade ceremony. New Jersey’s own Carli Lloyd was the first member of the team to speak to the thousands of fans in attendance.
“I'm super proud of this team. We were obviously here four years ago; it never gets old. These parades are amazing. The fans are amazing,” she said.
The 2019 World Cup could be the Delran Township native’s last for the United States. Carli Lloyd is one of the most accomplished US national team players in history, having won 2 World Cups, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, and 2 FIFA Player of the Year awards.
“I'm super proud of every single player on this team. It took all 23 players to get to this point. Everybody played a role. It was incredible to see so many different players stand up," Lloyd said.
Tournament top goal scorer and best player Megan Rapinoe celebrated the victory, while taking a playful jab at New York City’s mayor.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a co-captain with Carli and Alex with this team. It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on to the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be…even in the presidential race,” she said.
Rapinoe has become a face for equal pay between female soccer players and their male counterparts. US Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro was met with equal pay chants from droves of fans that came out to support the World Cup champions.
“We believe that US Soccer, that all female athletes deserve fair and equitable pay,” Cordeiro told the crowd, and Rapinoe defended Cordeiro.
“I’m going to endorse Carlos. I think he’s with us, he’s on the right side of things and he’s going to make things right.”
The Women’s National team has sued the US Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination. Recently, lawmakers across the country have been stepping up to defend the US women’s team.