The World Cup-winning U.S. women's soccer team got a tumultuous welcome in Los Angeles on Tuesday, after its 5-2 victory in a match against Japan in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The 23 team members got a rousing welcome at the Staples Center, where fan Karen Mosce came to celebrate the U.S. women's third World Cup title, and the first since 1999.
“I'm here to support our Team USA, women's soccer. They're the best in the entire world. Whoo, go USA!” she exclaimed.
Fans cheered coach Jill Ellis and her players, including MVP - midfielder Carli Lloyd, 32, who scored three of the team's five goals in Sunday's final game.
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The match drew the largest American television audience of any soccer game ever, attracting more than 25 million viewers.
The team is an inspiration to the young female players who came to greet their heroes, said teenage fan Christina Prieto.
“They're like a family," she said. "They support each other no matter what.”
For some, the win highlighted the disparity in pay between male and female players, which fan Lisa Bartoli called unfair.
“It's past time for them to have equal pay for equal play," she said. "They are women warriors.”
But Bartoli said that was a battle to be fought another time. This was a day to celebrate the women who came home with the World Cup trophy.