Women's World Cup soccer team honored with Parade of Champions

NEW YORK -- New York City showered the U.S. women's national soccer team with praise and paper confetti Wednesday at a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes and a ceremony at City Hall to honor their historic World Cup win.

It is the city's first such parade since the team's Women's World Cup win in 2015, and the city said 300,000 adoring and cheering fans lined the streets.

Crowds chanted "USA!" as the floats rolled by, as colorful confetti drifted down from office buildings. More than 2,000 pounds of shredded recycled paper was prepped for the event.

Nina Pineda with young soccer fans at the Parade of Champions.
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Nina Pineda hears from fans at the Women's World Cup Parade of Champions


The parade route took the team up the famed Canyon of Heroes, down the section of Broadway between the Battery and City Hall in Manhattan.

Why ticker tape? History of New York City's iconic parades

The celebration continued with the ceremony at City Hall, during which Mayor Bill de Blasio -- who was also riding one of the floats with USWNT members -- gave the players symbolic keys to the city.

That was followed by speeches from Silver Boot winner Alex Morgan, longtime star Carli Lloyd, and Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner Megan Rapinoe.

"Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you've ever been before," Rapinoe said. "If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take this as an example."

Watch Megan Rapinoe's full speech:

Girls in soccer uniforms accompanied the team as ABC broadcaster Robin Roberts introduced each team member.

Aly Hoover, 12, of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, stood at the sidelines with a poster of Morgan's face.

"I'm gonna scream my head off and try to get a hug," she said. "I just want to be like them."

Garret Prather brought his newborn son "to celebrate how the American women made us proud on and off the field."

Fifteen-year-old Lily Buccholz, of Sumner, Iowa, stood by the parade route Wednesday with her family while dressed in red, white and blue.

Lily plays soccer on a club team and says, "Hopefully one day I'll play professional."

Watch the full parade and City Hall ceremony:

The U.S. won its record fourth Women's World Cup title and second in a row by beating the Netherlands 2-0 Sunday.

Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute after a video review determined Stefanie van der Gragt had fouled Alex Morgan with a kick to the shoulder in the penalty area, and Rose Lavelle added a goal.

Mayor de Blasio needed just a few seconds after the final whistle to invite the team to the ticker-tape parade.

"You have inspired the entire country - and New York City knows how to celebrate champions." the mayor tweeted.

The team also appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday morning.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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