USWNT Visits President Obama at the White House After World Cup Victory

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2015

President Barack Obama receives a jersey from head coach Jill Ellis as he welcomes the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony to honor the team and their victory in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. In the background right of Obama are Julie Johnston, Sydney Leroux, and Carli Lloyd.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Nearly four months after winning the FIFA Women's World Cup for the third time in team history, the United States women's national soccer team visited the White House on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama has welcomed many championship squads to Washington during his time in the White House, but few have managed to capture the hearts of the entire nation like the USWNT did.

That was apparent from the very start of the ceremony Tuesday, as the team was introduced by a 13-year-old girl named Ayla Ludlow, who wrote this letter to President Obama in June, courtesy of the official White House Twitter account:

White House Archived @ObamaWhiteHouse

Watch 13-year-old Ayla introduce @POTUS and congratulate World Cup champion @USSoccer_WNT: https://t.co/gtjlYQmRWJ https://t.co/CTOAKWx1Oj

After Ludlow's inspiring speech, the president took the podium and expressed his pride in the USWNT and its accomplishments, according to ABC's John R. Parkinson:

John R Parkinson @jparkABC

POTUS has lots of mtgs but was "excited" for @ussoccer_wnt. "They put America back on top of soccer world and they did it in style." ⚽️🇺🇸🏆

Following the recognition of many of those behind the players who helped them achieve success in Canada, Obama's focus shifted toward Carli Lloyd, who won the Golden Ball by virtue of her three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the final against Japan.

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The president joked that Lloyd's dominance in the Women's World Cup final meant the game was essentially over before he had a chance to hunker down, per World Soccer Talk:

World Soccer Talk @worldsoccertalk

President Obama on Lloyd: "I was settling into the game, getting my popcorn, & then *poof* she scored three goals." https://t.co/qR2Fed94Pi

Obama also made mention of somebody's editing Lloyd's Wikipedia page and declaring her President of the United States of America. He used that as an opportunity to poke fun at some of those vying to follow his presidency in 2016, according to Jeff Kassouf of NBCSports.com:

Jeff Kassouf @JeffKassouf

“I guarantee you that @CarliLloyd knows more about being president than some of the folks who are running.” -- @POTUS jokes. #USWNT

On the heels of mentioning many of the USWNT players by name and praising their accomplishments, the president paid them the ultimate compliment and labeled them role models near the end of his speech, per ESPN.com's Chantel Jennings:

Chantel Jennings @ChantelJennings

"This team taught all America's children that 'playing like a girl' means you're a badass." - Obama, on the #USWNT's WH visit.

As is customary for championship teams visiting the White House, the USWNT and head coach Jill Ellis then presented President Obama with his very own No. 44 jersey:

World Soccer Talk @worldsoccertalk

President Obama presented by Jill Ellis with honorary jersey bearing number 44. #USWNT https://t.co/awO5RPtOQv

While the ceremony itself was likely the highlight of the day for those involved, the USWNT players had plenty of fun beforehand too, as they snapped several photos while touring the White House and posted them on social media.

As seen in this photo montage, courtesy of U.S. Soccer WNT on Twitter, stars such as Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe had a great time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

U.S. Soccer WNT @ussoccer_wnt

Good morning, D.C., guess where we are? That's right, the @WhiteHouse!#WNTatWH https://t.co/1fPqPdYmFR

Morgan also provided this shot from inside of the White House, but Tobin Heath came through with an expertly placed photobomb unbeknownst to No. 13:

Lauren Holiday played her final match for the USWNT on Sunday, as she has decided to retire, but she got to experience one last moment of glory with Christen Press in the form of this photo from the USWNT's Instagram account:

Solo and Lloyd couldn't pass up the opportunity to get presidential by doing their best George Washington impressions, per Solo's Twitter account:

Speaking of Solo, she had a chance to get some reading in during her visit to the White House library as well:

Hope Solo @hopesolo

Catching up on some reading in the @WhiteHouse library. https://t.co/irmpN3dacy

The entire USWNT brought home plenty of hardware from Canada, and Lloyd didn't forget to take the Women's World Cup trophy with her to the White House:

Carli Lloyd @CarliLloyd

Look what I found! @POTUS #thewhitehouse #championsinthehouse https://t.co/EEOxYl3yZj

The USWNT's infectious personality is often on display during games, but the players' fun-loving attitude and camaraderie off the field are also a big part of what makes them so likable.

It was clear President Obama was legitimately proud of everything the team accomplished in the name of the United States of America, which is a feeling shared by many across the nation.

Team USA came agonizingly close to winning the Women's World Cup in 2011 and missed out on its chance to visit the White House then, but it earned the right this time around, and there is no doubt that it made it count.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.


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