The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has captured the attention of Americans across the country since winning the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup this past Sunday in Vancouver.
Today, the World Cup champions will be feted with a rare New York City ticker-tape parade (live on ESPN3, 11 a.m. ET) through the city’s famed Canyon of Heroes – the first female athletes to be so honored since the 1984 Olympics.
The recognition celebration continues Wednesday, July 15, at the 2015 ESPY Awards (ABC, 8 p.m. ET) where the victorious U.S. women’s team is up for the Best Team award, along with the New England Patriots, University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Blackhawks and college football’s Ohio State Buckeyes.
Front Row caught up with the trio of 2015 Women’s World Cup champions – captain Abby Wambach, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and defender Ali Krieger – who visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios on Thursday to appear on several programs.
Did you enjoy visiting ESPN for the first time and appearing on so many programs in one day?
Rapinoe: I’ve heard about the (ESPN) ‘car wash’ and the allure of the car wash. A bunch of teammates have come and done it before. I mean, I grew up watching ESPN, watching SportsCenter. Still to this day, it is one of my favorite shows. To be able to come here and be on it for something I have accomplished is pretty special.
How does it feel for the U.S. Women’s National Team to be up for Best Team at the ESPYs?
Wambach: There is no greater thing to do than to celebrate as a team, especially when you are up for a team award at the ESPYS amongst other great teams. Our team completely exemplifies all the criteria that would match being deserving of the ESPYS. It did really take all 23 players to win this world cup – the seven games; it was brutal; it was on turf; we were in a foreign country. All the parts considered, I am just so excited to celebrate not just winning the World Cup, but hopefully, that night, Wednesday next week, winning the ESPY for the best team.
Krieger: We are obviously going to be surrounded by other athletes who inspire us. It is a celebration of sports in general – what we do and what we have done, especially for the win in the World Cup. To celebrate that as a team is going to be incredible.
What reaction have you received from being featured in ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue”?
Krieger: I have received positive feedback. It was just an amazing experience. My teammates came to me first and said how nice the photos were and how beautiful I looked. That really gave me some confidence and I was really happy because their opinion means a lot to me. From my family and friends, they all loved the photos. I was happy about that.
It is just such an honor to be in this type of magazine and for this issue and to be a part of something so raw and honest with a bunch of other athletes who inspire me. That was probably the most exciting.