On Sunday, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) won the final game of the Women’s World Cup, (2- 0), against the Netherlands. This is their second consecutive World Cup win.
The team arrived Monday night in New York after a celebration filled flight from France. There was dancing, hugs between teammates and the US team received shirts made to mark the occasion.
On these shirts sat a gold star in recognition of what they had accomplished over four incredible weeks in France and over 90 difficult minutes in front of a sold-out crowd of 57,900 at Stade de Lyon.
“To see us four years ago go from two to three [stars] and now three to four,” forward Alex Morgan said, “it’s really a dream come true.”
Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the second half of the championship game, and Rose Lavelle added a goal, kicking off a party that carried over to the tarmac in Newark.
Rapinoe, an outspoken figure on issues ranging from politics to gender equality, won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player.
“I am made for this. I love it,” she said. “To be able to couple it with everything off the field and to back up those words with performances, it’s just incredible. I feel like this team is changing the world around us.”
In New York the team will prepare for a ticker tape parade on home soil on Wednesday. The last sports team to receive such an honor in New York was the USWNT in 2015.
The USWNT will hold a victory tour starting in August at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
This win is going to aid in the teams ongoing pursuit of equal pay in the world of athletics. Fans were chanting for equal pay when FIFA president Gianni Infantino and French president Emmanuel Macron were on stage handing out gold medals to the American players.
“I feel like we did the impossible today and this past month and these past couple years,” said defender Kelley O’Hara, who exited at halftime after a head-to-head collision. “I’m so proud of this team. It’s a testament to how dedicated everyone is. You can want to win a World Cup, but winning one is a different story.”