They’ve just won the World Cup, but they’re not going to Disney World — the U.S. Women’s National Team jumped on a plane and headed straight for Manhattan.
Ahead of Wednesday’s ticker-tape parade honoring the champs after their 2-0 win against the Netherlands in the final, co-captains Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan joined defender Crystal Dunn and midfielder Rose Lavelle to speak with reporters outside their lower Manhattan hotel on Monday.
“It’s so nice to be home,” Rapinoe said. “Thank you France for the hospitality, but we are so glad to be back in America.”
Morgan said that the team did not have Wi-Fi during the flight, which only played into them taking in the moment.
“Initially everyone was excited and then a little hungover and then we slept a little bit. Then we got up and started celebrating a little more and sharing memories,” she said. “This starts an amazing three days and we need to just release all that emotional, physical exhaustion that we’ve had over the past 30 days … now we just get to enjoy each other’s company.”
But even though the team is celebrating their success, they are far from finished fighting for equality. They are set to begin mediation on establishing equal pay now that the World Cup is over, though a specific date has not been announced.
“I think the fans said it all. They’re with us wanting more. It was pretty special to have that transcending moment outside of sport, outside of soccer,” Rapinoe said of fans chanting “equal pay” in the stands after Team USA won the cup. “It’s so much bigger than just what’s happening on the field. … We understand what kind of stage we’re on. We’re very aware of the attention that we have, the platform that we have, and we are extremely aware of the power of winning.”
Tickets to the City Hall ceremony after the 9:30 a.m. Canyon of Heroes parade, where the champs will get their keys to the city, went on sale Monday at 2 p.m. and were sold out within minutes, outraging some fans on social media.
“Why were tickets immediately unavailable to fans as soon as the ‘ticket registration now open’ button went live? Were all tickets given away before going live to the public? Please explain and release more tickets so fans can attend this exciting event,” wrote Twitter user Alexa Hardy.
In an email to amNewYork, deputy press secretary Jane Meyer responded, “New York City is so excited to celebrate this amazing team and there are many ways to partake in the festivities.”