New York City hosted a ticker-tape parade to honor the U.S. women's national team on Friday, and SI.com spoke with fans who gathered to celebrate the team's World Cup victory.
The parade began at 11 a.m. ET, following a route from Battery Park to City Hall in Manhattan, where a rally was held. At City Hall, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati and MLS commissioner Don Garber addressed the crowd, and the team received the keys to the city.
SI.com asked fans to explain why the team and title were important to them and identify their favorite moment during the tournament.
What does this team mean to you?
“These players give their lives to playing soccer and being out there to prove to everyone they are the best. They continue to show us what they can do and never fail to do that. Everyone thought the '99ers would be the last to win a World Cup, but this team proved everyone wrong and are changing the impact of girls soccer around the world.” — Allie Stagg (middle)
“These players sacrifice and give up so much to do the sport the love. Some manage being a full-time professional soccer player and being a mom at the same time. They show that in the end all the work put in will pay off. The women have proven so much to this country this past month and change the sport of soccer in the U.S.” — Erin Stagg (left)
"The US women's soccer players started out like every other little girl with a dream of being on the national team. To be one of the 23 players on the team just proves that their many years of hard training paid off. This win is extremely important because it proves that women’s sports are just as good as men sports. It's an amazing accomplishment and a major step forward in respect for women’s sports." — Gena Kaminski (second from right)
“When Abby kissed her wife, I started crying. That was amazing. To share that moment with your wife, and to have the cameras stay on her. I felt proud to be American in that moment.” — John Rossi.
Rossi is superstitious and watches all games on a 12-inch TV in his kitchen. He and his brother broke a cabinet celebrating after the win.
“It's very inspirational. I want that to be me someday” — Sophia Rafanello (second from right)
“It just shows girls can do anything” — Natalie Santangelo (middle)
“The first 16 minutes, the whole house was just blowing up. There’s not much soccer in the U.S., as opposed to other countries, and if they keep winning like this, soccer will start to come up here, and it will be a lot better. People probably watch more of the women because they have more World Cup wins than the boys.” — Tristan Moran (right)
“It just shows that the women are just as important. Women’s sports are worth watching.” — Adrianna Oliveira, (third from left), William Patterson University soccer team
“Hope Solo is my favorite because she’s a goalie, and I’m a goalie, too.” — Bailee D’Apolito, 8 (middle)
“Julie Johnston (is my favorite), because she’s a defender like me, and if I’m ever on the women’s national team, I want to be just like her.” — Alex Kasian, 11 (right)
“We're big soccer fans. We'd like to just come and show our support to the women's team for what they did. It's a really remarkable achievement. It's good for the game. It's good for the country. It's just a massively good achievement. We'd like to show America that the English are really proud of the American ladies team. Anyone that wins in soccer is good in our book. We just love the game and want to show our support to everyone who plays it.” — Jason Edmonds
“It just shows how hard they worked and how soccer is a big sport now. Women’s soccer has been underestimated but now people realize how good they are.” Antoneta Djeljevi (middle)
“To see them come back from a tough loss in the last World Cup, it teaches girls to never drop their chins and just to keep going no matter what.” Briana Pinelli (left)
“It’s cool to see because they all started where we are now and to see them win it all shows that anything is possible.” — Ariel Harari (second from left)
- Will Balsam, Shannon Carroll, Jake Fischer, Kayla Lombardo, Kaitlin McCabe, Lizzy Reed, Ashley Scoby, Ryan Wallerson and Daniel Wilco contributed reporting