U.S. women’s national soccer team players, from left, Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan celebrate with teammates in a parade Wednesday in New York. The team beat the Netherlands, 2-0, to capture a record fourth Women’s World Cup title. (Richard Drew/AP)

Adoring fans lined New York City’s Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday to praise the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team as athletic leaders on the field — and as advocates for pay equity off it.

Construction workers sounded air horns above crowds chanting “USA! USA!” as the hour-long parade moved up a stretch of lower Broadway that has long hosted parades for world leaders, veterans and hometown sports stars.

Co-captain Megan Rapinoe and her teammates shared a float with Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro. Rapinoe struck her now-famous victory pose, took a swig of champagne and handed the bottle to a fan. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher held the World Cup trophy aloft.

Aly Hoover, 12, of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, stood at the sidelines with a poster of the face of Alex Morgan, another team star. “I just want to be like them,” she said.

Garret Prather brought his newborn son “to celebrate how the American women made us proud on and off the field.”

The team sealed its second tournament win by beating the Netherlands, 2-0, on Sunday. It will get $4 million for winning the World Cup from FIFA, the international soccer governing body. The men’s French team got $38 million for winning last year.


Fans celebrates as members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team pass by during the parade. The players are using the platform of being the best in the world to champion equal pay for women’s and men’s soccer players. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

The U.S. women’s team has sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender and pay discrimination. The women will get bonuses about five times less from the USSF than the men would have earned for winning the World Cup.

Kate Lane, who watched the parade, called the pay gap “massive” for the soccer players and “across the board” for most women.

“Especially in male-dominated professions,” said Lane, of Limerick, Ireland. “Women put just as much commitment into their work as their male counterparts.”

She’s hopeful the younger generation is soaking up the message from the women’s team, noting a girl about 7 years old wearing an “Equal Pay” T-shirt.

Earlier Wednesday, team members joined New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, as he signed a law expanding gender pay equality in the state. He said women’s soccer players should be paid the same as male players.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced a bill Tuesday that would bar federal funding for the men’s 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer Federation provides equal pay to the women’s and men’s teams.

After the parade, de Blasio, also a Democrat, planned to honor the team with symbolic keys to the city.