07/06 16:31 CDT US enjoys 1 final title celebration before leaving Canada
US enjoys 1 final title celebration before leaving Canada
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) --- Megan Rapinoe strolled around taking
selfies, occasionally sipping bubbly with her teammates and trying to balance
the Women's World Cup championship trophy on her head.
A day after the United States claimed its third Women's World Cup title, the
party was still going on in Vancouver on Monday.
"I'm one star heavier, one year older," said Rapinoe, who turned 30 years old
on Sunday. "It's better, I think. I can't even explain it. Of course all of the
hard work and everything for it to culminate in this and share it with this
group that we spend so much time together with is just incredible."
For a number of players, the realization was just beginning to set it of their
accomplishment in beating Japan 5-2 for the Americans' first World Cup title
Working on little sleep after a night of celebrating with family, friends and
fans --- a lot of "smiles, a lot of screaming, a lot of dancing," according to
Julie Johnston --- the U.S. team took part in a special event put on by Fox
Sports. Players received their first jerseys that included the third star above
the crest, the latest title adding the ones earned in 1991 and '99.
It was a celebration filled with about 1,000 American fans surrounding the set
overlooking Coal Harbor on the Vancouver waterfront.
"It hasn't honestly sunk in. It really hasn't," American head coach Jill Ellis
said. "You're on this media thing and doing all this, but at some point it will
Perhaps no player was coming to grips with her newfound stardom more than Carli
Lloyd, whose hat trick in the first 16 minutes gave the Americans a 4-0 lead.
Lloyd went from being one of the top female soccer players in America to one of
the country's biggest sports stars in less than two hours. She was tweeted at
by President Barack Obama and even had her Wikipedia page changed briefly to
say her position was "President of the United States."
If Lloyd believed she still had some anonymity in the United States before,
there's a good chance most of that is gone now.
"I think it's definitely gone to another level," Lloyd said. "I'm not sure I'm
ready for that, but it's great."
Lloyd later joked she would love to find a beach to take a break.
"I'm pretty mentally zapped right now. I would love to not think about
anything," she said.
Part of the reason that facelessness might be gone is the record ratings the
American women set. The match was seen by 26.7 million viewers on Fox and NBC's
Spanish-language Telemundo, the networks said Monday.
Fans back home were engaged and they were rewarded with the first title for the
U.S. in 16 years.
"I think every team that wins has a different story," Johnston said. "We have a
different story. But we share a star and we knew the (1999 players) were
rooting for us just like the (1991 players) were rooting for the 99ers."