Team USA’s 4th World Cup win ‘good for our country,’ fans say

Fans cheer on Team USA during the Women's World Cup Soccer final game at a viewing party in DUMBO on Sunday.
Fans cheer on Team USA during the Women’s World Cup Soccer final game at a viewing party in DUMBO on Sunday. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote

Hundreds of New York fans excitedly screamed and chanted with every feat of footwork during the U.S. women’s soccer team’s fourth World Cup win on Sunday.

The U.S. beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final in Lyon, France, after going into half-time with only zeros on the scoreboard. Megan Rapinoe scored the first goal at 61 minutes with a penalty kick and Rose Lavelle found the net for the second score only eight minutes later.

“That first penalty kick was electric, but the second goal felt like it sealed it for us so it was a lot more enjoyable,” said Brooklyn resident Chaz Cox, 30, who watched the game at a party under the DUMBO archway. “The Dutch put up a fight. It was a great game.”

He added that for him and many others watching, the U.S. women’s team does more than just play soccer — they stand as a testament to what patriotism truly means.

From left to right: Meredith Minsky, Reema Amin, Brittany Haga and Kelly Gonsalves celebrate at Mustang Harry's after Megan Rapinoe's goal on Sunday. 
From left to right: Meredith Minsky, Reema Amin, Brittany Haga and Kelly Gonsalves celebrate at Mustang Harry’s after Megan Rapinoe’s goal on Sunday.  Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

“You sit there watching and you’re so proud, especially with the climate of today, and these women who are doing so much more than playing a game. They’re the best team in the world and they’re doing so much more for everyone else,” he said. “The inclusivity and patriotism they demonstrate is really inspiring.”

Others under the archway said watching the women secure their fourth title was an exciting and meaningful moment for young girls. Ally Colandrea, 35, and her husband Trevor Colandrea, 34, took time out of their move from Boston to Brooklyn to take their 6-year-old daughter Ellis to the archway. They said she looks up to the team.

“It’s just such a special time to be a little girl,” Ally said. “It’s amazing. We’re witnessing history. … This is the time where she remembers things so it’s just so awesome.”

Matt Capito, 27, traveled from Long Island to watch the game in DUMBO and said that the women’s team and their efforts must be recognized equally to their male counterparts. Earlier this year, members of the U.S. squad were named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the national soccer federation alleging gender discrimination.

It was filed in federal court last month and says the women are not paid the same as the men.

“Women’s soccer is just as good to watch as the men’s. Hopefully, people watch it moving forward … they inspire the next generation,” Capito said.  

At Mustang Harry’s on Seventh Avenue in midtown, the bar was packed with more than 180 reservations before the game began at 11 a.m. Most of the crowd cheered while sporting jerseys, U.S.-themed clothing and plenty of American flags.

Heather Lewis, a former soccer player herself, was vacationing in New York from Atlanta, along with her young daughter. As soon as they landed on Sunday morning, they dropped off their bags at the hotel and went straight to the bar.

“This is really fantastic. … It’s great to see a lot of enthusiasm for this,” Lewis said. “It’s a great example for girls and it’s good for our country.”

The Mustang Harry’s crowd was hooked to the bar’s televisions for every second of the match. Cheers erupted every time the U.S. got control of the ball or took a shot. 

As the clock ticked away for the final few seconds of the match, Bushwick resident Jonathan Bunch, 35, led the crowd in a victory chant.

“I was telling the guys that no one was saying the ‘I believe’ chant. A few beers in, I decided to do it,” he said. “This is a great week to celebrate women in sports.”

Even though the World Cup is over, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced minutes after the game that New York City will keep the celebrations going. The city will hold a ticker tape parade in the team’s honor on Wednesday. The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. and proceed along Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes, from the Battery to City Hall. A ceremony will follow at City Hall. Limited tickets to attend the ceremony will be available at 2 p.m. on Monday at nyc.gov/USWNT19.

With Reuters