NYC celebrates Women’s World Cup winners with parade

A young fan cheers while waiting for the ticker tape parade to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team World Cup victory, Friday, July 10, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK (AP) — Throngs of young girls and other fans of the U.S. women’s soccer team filled lower Manhattan Friday morning for a ticker-tape parade celebrating its Women’s World Cup victory.

The parade-goers — many wearing red, white and blue — started gathering at 3:30 a.m. along the Canyon of Heroes, a stretch of Broadway where the nation’s largest city has honored its legends. When the parade got underway at 11 a.m., the crowd was five deep or more along the route. Some chanted, “USA! USA!”

“I’m glad to see girls getting a parade,” said 9-year-old Christinah Delesine, who wore a blue soccer shirt. “There should be more.”

John Comer watched the festivities with his young son and two daughters.

“I think it’s important the girls have role models,” he said. “It’s a chance to see women celebrated for doing something positive.”

All 23 players from the team — none of whom are from New York City, though four hail from nearby New Jersey — will ride on four of 12 floats. One of the floats will carry the World Cup trophy, along with tournament’s most valuable player, Carli Lloyd, and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The celebration will also feature marching bands and be hosted by broadcaster Robin Roberts and former soccer star Heather Mitts. At its conclusion, the team will be honored by de Blasio in front of a crowd of 3,500 people at City Hall Plaza.

The southern end of Broadway is the traditional spot for New York City ticker-tape parades. Most of the route is lined with tall office buildings on both sides, allowing workers to toss bits of paper onto the celebrants below.

The United States has returned to the top of the FIFA women’s rankings after winning the World Cup. The U.S. toppled Germany after beating Japan 5-2 in Sunday’s final in Vancouver to collect the top prize in women’s soccer for the first time in 16 years.

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