US WC champs arrive home ahead of parade

July 10, 2019
United States women’s soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the Women’s World Cup trophy as she celebrates in front of the media after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday.
United States women’s soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the Women’s World Cup trophy as she celebrates in front of the media after arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday.

NEW YORK (AP):

Megan Rapinoe stepped off the plane with champagne in hand -- a fizzy souvenir from a most memorable trip overseas.

"Thank you, France, for the hospitality," the US football star said. "But wow, we are very excited to be back in America."

The US women's national team arrived in New York on Monday, a day after beating the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. Players and staff touched down at about 4:30 p.m. at Newark Liberty International Airport, where they were met with cheers and a banner saying: "Congratulations Team USA!" More fans waited at their hotel in Manhattan, and the players are sure to be feted around the city all week, capped with a ticker-tape parade Wednesday up the Canyon of Heroes.

Feeling just incredible

"I think everyone's feeling just incredible right now," said Alex Morgan, who swapped out her imaginary teacup for a gold bottle of bubbly on the flight.

Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the second half and Rose Lavelle added a goal in the championship game, kicking off a party that carried over to the tarmac in Newark. Players gathered for a toast and posed for pictures as they sang "We Are The Champions."

"We kind of went through stages," Morgan said. "Initially, everyone was excited, and then a little hungover, and then we slept a little bit, and then we got up and started just celebrating a little more."

The team got shoutouts across social media -- including from President Donald Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, two-time World Cup winner Mia Hamm, Stephen Curry, Snoop Dogg, Ellen DeGeneres and many more. Dozens of politicians offered congratulations, and Congress' top Democrats have invited the team to Washington.

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