Vancouver. A World Cup that kicked off amidst one of the biggest scandals in football history ended in joyous celebration on Sunday as the United States defeated Japan 5-2 in a free-wheeling clash that offered some hope of better days ahead for the so-called lovely Game.
“We always say that every women’s World Cup is special and another milestone in the development of women’s football and I truly believe that this seventh edition of FIFA women’s World Cup Canada has made history in many ways”, said Tatjana Haenni, the FIFA deputy director of the competitions division and head of women’s football.
The first stateside appearance was a raucous party in front of fans who began camping out before dawn on short notice.
“Carli, what have you been eating?” the President quipped as the team laughed.
“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. “That’s something that’s going to last for years”.
The players also led a sing-along to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” before leaving the stage.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Tuesday that the parade has been scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m.in lower Manhattan, along Broadway from the Battery to City Hall, known as the Canyon of Heroes. It is also the quickest hat-trick in a World Cup final (again, both men and women) at 13 minutes between her first and third goals. The 27-year-old midfielder became emotional after the rally when she revealed she plans to retire from the US national team after 10 years, seeing the World Cup as a flawless spot to leave.
Once the celebrations end, Rapinoe hopes that the fans USWNT across the country will support the fledgling National Women’s Soccer League. In so doing, they established themselves as the game’s undisputed world power, with three straight Olympic gold medals and now an unprecedented three World Cup titles. “I think people will watch”.