NEW YORK — The U.S. Women's National Team enjoyed a trip through New York's Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday, basking in the glow of its second World Cup soccer title with a ticker-tape parade through lower Manhattan. Team members and coach Jill Ellis also received keys to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The U.S. women defeated the Netherlands 2-0 Sunday in the World Cup on goals by Megan Rapinoe and Rose Ravelle.
Before de Blasio spoke, his wife, Chirlane McCray, gave a rousing introduction.
"They showed us that playing like a girl is to be unbeatable," McCray said.
The mayor echoed those sentiments, noting that Wednesday's parade was "a moment of unity."
"This team brought us together and made us hopeful," de Blasio said. "What an honor to have this great team among us.
"One nation, one team. That's what we believe."
The players savored the moment as de Blasio handed out the keys to the city.
"It never gets old," Carli Lloyd told the crowd at City Hall.
Rapinoe said she was at "a loss for words," but added, "Don't worry, I'll find them."
And she did, noting the team was "so resilient, so tough, with such a sense of humor."
"We have pink hair, purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We have white girls and black girls. We have straight girls, gay girls," Rapinoe said. "There's no place I'd' rather be."
Rapinoe's speech, which also included an obscenity, also included a semi-apology.
"I'm sorry for some of the things I've said," Rapinoe said. "Not all of them,"
Rapinoe did urge more compassion.
"We have to be better," Rapinoe said. "We need to love more, hate less.
"It's our responsibility to make this world a better place."
Players wore their medals as they stood on a float that traveled from Battery Park up Broadway, waving to the crowd as fans tossed confetti from the buildings. The crowded chanted "U-S-A" as the team headed toward City Hall.
The parade began on time at 9:30 a.m. and members of the women's team rode on floats, taking the same route traveled by aviator Charles Lindbergh, generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, astronaut John Glenn, Nelson Mandela, World Series champions from the New York Yankees and New York Mets, and the Super Bowl XLII champions from the New York Giants.
The women's team also was honored with a ticker-tape parade after winning the World Cup in 2015.
Crowds also chanted "equal pay" during the ceremony, Before the parade, Cuomo signed a law that eliminated a "loophole" that he said still allows gender discrimination in pay for the same jobs, WABC reported.
"It's not just the right thing to do, it's not just the moral thing to do, it is also the law in the State of New York," Cuomo said at a news conference.
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