The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team was honored Friday in New York City with a ticker-tape parade and “keys to the city” to commemorate the team’s third World Cup victory–the first women to be honored with a ticker-tape parade since 1984, and the first women’s team to be honored ever.
“It’s huge,” midfielder and World Cup MVP Carli Lloyd told Andrea Mitchell in an interview that aired Friday on msnbc. “I think it’s a turning point. I think we really created history and something really, really special.”
Lloyd, who scored three of Team USA’s five goals in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, said the celebrations have been “a whirlwind,” adding, “I was home for one day…I’m just trying to take it all in. I’m running on fumes, not much sleep, but it’s a good thing to have.”
Team USA beat Japan in the World Cup final, 5-2, in a highly-anticipated rematch of 2011’s final, where Japan beat the U.S. in penalty kicks.
Lloyd also talked about her unique experience with President Obama, who tweeted at Lloyd after the team’s victory. “I got back into the locker room and my teammates told me that he personally tweeted at me and to our team,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”
Lloyd added that she was humbled by the president’s phone call to the team and is excited for the team’s upcoming visit to the White House.
But despite their status as world champions, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is paid far less than their male counterparts. “There’s a huge gap on the pay scale,” Lloyd acknowledged. “We are doing just as good as some male professional players, but the pay is very, very different.”
Lloyd went on to say that she hopes her team’s victory will help “close the gap a little more” and change the status quo. “We all definitely deserve to get paid and to reap the rewards and benefits,” she said.