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2019 Women's World Cup

The Big Party: USWNT take on New York City for victory parade

Megan Rapinoe
The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final between the United States and the Netherlands at Stade de Lyon. Lyon, France - Sunday, July 7, 2019. Photo by Lewis Gettier

New York City —Megan Rapinoe stood as cool as a cucumber.

She went up to the podium and smiled the biggest grin on her face. “This is crazy, this is absolutely insane,” she said to the huge crowd that came out to greet the United States after their fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup victory. Her face lit up when talking about her teammates, who she described as incredibly diverse. Rapinoe smiled when talking about the medical staff, “Chef T” and other members of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Then, she turned her attention to Carlos Codeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer — the same person who just mispronounced her name only moments before Rapinoe took the podium.

“Carlos, thank you. You were incredible this work cup. I know you got a little stick when you were up here, a couple chants. I think that’s a sign of affection though. Everyone gets booed. Everyone in the position of power gets booed. I’m going to stick my neck out there a little bit, I’m going to endorse Carlos. I think he’s with us, I think he’s on the right side of things. I think he’s going to make things right.”

Codeiro was elected as the U.S. Soccer Federation’s president in February 2018. Rapinoe said that ever since he’s taken the presidency over from Sunil Gulati, Codeiro has proven that he’s with the national team. He was with the team every day of the World Cup, according to Rapinoe, saying that he was in the tunnel and celebrating with the team every day. However, she finished with another Rapinoe-esque statement.

“We look forward to holding those feet to the fire,” she said.

However, the most poignant moment of the speech was when Rapinoe delivered her charge to the nation.

“We have to be better. We have to love more and hate less. We have to listen more and talk less. We have to know this is everybody’s responsibility…  It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place. I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position and platform we have. Yes, we play sports. Yes, we play soccer. Yes, we’re female athletes. But, we’re so much more than that.”

Rapinoe struck a chord with the crowd, who surrendered booming applause to various parts of her speech. She told the audience, whether they were or weren’t at the parade, or even if they didn’t care, to be better and be more.

“Be bigger than you’ve ever been before,” she said.

Highlights of the Parade

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