The United States women's soccer team has been riding high since capturing the country's first World Cup title in 16 years on Sunday in a dominant 5-2 win over Japan. Now, it will be able to celebrate with its fans in a well-deserved victory parade.
It wasn't certain that Team USA would get a chance to celebrate with its fellow countrymen and countrywomen. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote a letter to New York mayor Bill de Blasio hoping to get a ticker-tape parade, per John Spina and Jennifer Fermino of the New York Daily News.
“Our newest soccer champions present an opportunity for New York to recognize that heroes and role models come in all genders, and I hope you will work with me to make this parade a reality,” Brewer wrote.
De Blasio confirmed on Twitter that the women would get their chance to celebrate with the fans in a parade across New York:
Given the gonzo ratings for the World Cup final and how this year's team captured the nation's heart, it seemed like only a question of when, not if, there would be a parade.
Date: Friday, July 10
Time: 11 a.m. ET
Watch: NBC 4 New York
Live Stream: NBCNewYork.com
Even though Friday's parade is officially the big celebration for the United States women's soccer team, it did get a brief moment to indulge the fans in Los Angeles.
On July 7, all 23 players on the team took part in a rally at L.A. Live. The most memorable moment from that event was Lauren Holiday announcing her retirement, per Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:
Also at that rally, World Cup hero and hat-trick maestro Carli Lloyd talked about what the victory means after having a couple of days to sleep on it, per America's Pregame:
Another key player for the United States who could potentially step away is Abby Wambach, though the former FIFA Player of the Year was noncommittal about retirement after the World Cup win, per Martin Rogers of USA Today.
"There is probably no better way to go out, right?" Wambach said. "But…I'm just going to really enjoy this for now."
It would be a great way for Wambach to step away. She was mostly asked to be a vocal leader on the sidelines, but the veteran was part of an emotional moment late in the game against Japan when Carli Lloyd gave her the captain's armband.
Sports provide an outlet for many things; chief among them is analysis. Everyone wants to know what happened, how it happened and if it can happen again. There were certainly pieces all over the Internet immediately after this World Cup ended that asked if Team USA could repeat because that's what we do.
Yet there is a human element that gets lost with the rush to provide context to a story. Fans in America didn't tune into the game against Japan for what it means moving forward; they found a team they loved and supported each other throughout the World Cup.
Everything came together perfectly for the United States to end a 16-year World Cup drought and capture the third title since 1991. That's why we fell in love with this team and why one more victory parade will be the appropriate sendoff for this group.