The U.S. women’s national team has been named Time magazine’s athlete of the year.
Yes, that’s correct, the term used was athlete, not athletes. But it doesn’t matter.
The American women captured their second consecutive Women’s World Cup in France this summer and fourth overall, becoming the first female team to accomplish that feat since the competition began in 1991. The USA also won in 1991 and 1999.
Megan Rapinoe, who has won most if not all of the major awards for women’s soccer players, led the way with six goals while earning Golden Boot and Golden Ball honors.
The USWNT’s influence went well beyond the playing field.
Embroiled in an equal pay dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation, the team sued the federation for gender discrimination on International Women’s Day on March 8 and then went out on the field to prove itself again.
The Americans did it in style, winning all six matches, including a 2-0 triumph over the Netherlands in the final in Lyon.
“We’re in a movement, not a moment,” Rapinoe told Time.
For the second time in four years, the team was feted with a ticker-tape parade down New York City’s Canyon of Heroes before being given the keys to the city at City Hall.
Two Long Islanders were part of the U.S. squad — Rockville Centre, N.Y. native Crystal Dunn and Northport, N.Y. native Allie Long.
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