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AT THIS HOUR

Soon: U.S. Women's Soccer Team to Get Keys to NYC; U.S. Women's Soccer Team Honored at New York City Hall. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired July 10, 2019 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good job.

Thanks for joining me. I'll see you here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

"AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone.

Thanks so much, Poppy.

I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you all so much for joining me.

They have secured the most women's World Cup wins. They have scored the most goals in a World Cup tournament. They have won the most consecutive World Cup championships. And now they're getting a world- class celebration.

You're looking right there at city hall where you see the mayor, Bill De Blasio, and the first lady there, who will be beginning the festivities.

This is like the second chapter of this huge honor for the U.S Women's national soccer team. First, it started with a New York ticker-tape parade. And the keys to the city will be happening very soon for the U.S Women's national soccer team after winning their fourth World Cup title.

The last time the city had a celebration like this -- there's your quiz of the day -- four years ago, when the same team won the 2015 World Cup.

It has been a party all morning long in lower Manhattan. Crowds lining the streets, cheering on these rock star athletes.

CNN's Alisyn Camerota is at the end of the parade route. What you're looking at right here on your screen, outside city hall, where the next big moments will be taking place for us.

Also joining us from there is the goalkeeper from the 1999 World Cup championship team, Briana Scurry.

Alisyn, what are you seeing there? ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh, Kate. This is the moment everyone has been waiting for. We have been here poised with all sorts of anticipation waiting for the team to make their way down Broadway and the Canyon of Heroes, to make it here to city hall. They have gotten here.

We saw them come out on the balcony behind me a little while ago and wave while there was an awesome drum show. And now we've just seen the door open a few times and shut. You know how that works. Open, everybody gets excited, then shut.

And now the mayor and first lady have just come out. So it seems like we are seconds away from the finale of this heroes' welcome that they have gotten where they will get the keys to the city.

I can just see outside of camera range the sidewalks are lined with New Yorkers, with people who have made the pilgrimage here to watch this really historic moment. It's probably a dozen people deep on the sidewalk, everybody cheering. It's really an electric moment -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: It's an awesome day for everybody to watch something like this, to celebrate something good and to celebrate a win for America.

Briana, you know something or two about winning. You're the goalkeeper for the 1999 World Cup team. What do you make of today?

BRIANA SCURRY, RETIRED U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER: I think it's absolutely fantastic. Not only did the team win the World Cup but the circumstances under which they won. It's the fourth star on that jersey and it's amazing. And it's really exciting for me to see this in person. So thank you for having me.

I couldn't be more excited and more thrilled and I can't wait to see all these amazing women out there and inspiring this entire world with their story.

BOLDUAN: Alisyn, let's talk about what -- we saw this awesome moment, Alisyn, as we were watching the parade floats go by and the athletes having a blast, like they have throughout the entire World Cup tournament. Let's talk about what we're going to be seeing here when Bill De Blasio prepares to turn over the keys of the city to them. We can expect to hear from some of the team.

CAMEROTA: You know, Kate, everybody loves a parade but this is so much more than a parade today. I mean this is more -- the ticker tape parade, of course, is very stirring and you get goosebumps because all the ticker tape falls down from all the skyscrapers all around and we just saw that happen. People flinging, open their windows and throwing out the ticker tape. And that's thrilling.

The last time that happened was four years ago, again when the USA women's soccer team came here for another heroes' welcome.

But today everyone tells me, including Briana, that it just feels differently because of where we are in this climate. You know, Megan Rapinoe and so many of her teammates have just seized

this moment, this opportunity to talk about how it is long overdue for these champions to be getting equal pay. And beyond that, are all of the publicity, all the promos, all of the respect, frankly, that their male counterparts have been getting.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So we expect, at some point, when -- I don't know if it will be now when they're accepting the keys to the city but at some point they will talk about that theme, again, that they have been talking about all these weeks.

BOLDUAN: I think I was hearing behind you, Alisyn, the first lady of New York saying "USA, equal pay." So you know that that message that we heard from on field and off, from the field, in the stands during the World Cup is absolutely a big part of the celebration today.

Briana, I have to say, throughout the tournament, the interviews that the athletes have done, how they have carried themselves, I have really been struck by not only their confidence and composure but, quite frankly, I'm impressed by their swagger.

[11:05:09] SCURRY: They definitely have an amazing swagger. They have confidence. They are ready. They were ready and they did it. And it's truly an amazing testament to not only being in the pressure but living in the pressure. Because of that, they knew in their hearts, they saw it happening before it even happened. So they knew it was going to be the time. They saw the moment, they seized it and now here we are with the spoils.

CAMEROTA: Yes. What's that expression, Kate, that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Somehow, despite all of the pressure that they have been under -- and I can't imagine any more pressurized platform than they have had, because not only did they have to deliver, they had to win because the eyes of the world were on them because, frankly, of the spat that they have had with President Trump. Somehow they stepped into the spotlight and exceeded expectations.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

SCURRY: Absolutely. Jill Ellis said it best. She said not only does this team understand pressure, but this team lives in pressure. We always have. It's someplace that we're familiar with, it's something that we know is going to happen. And the expectation for women's national soccer teams is to win and only win. And so that's the standard and we live up to it, as they did in 2019. And going forward from here that's always going to be the standard for us.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Kate, that's what Briana was telling me earlier, that somehow they thrive in this pressure and they prepare for it and they train for it, and so this is when they feel most alive.

Oh, my gosh, we've been watching this for these weeks. BOLDUAN: Over and over again.

Guys, stand by.

We'll stick close to Alisyn and Briane and we'll watch these pictures, watch as the ceremony is getting under way.

Joining me right now by the phone, I want to make sure we get to him, legendary sportscaster, Bob Costas.

Bob, can you hear me?

BOB COSTAS, SPORTSCASTER (via telephone): I can, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much for jumping on the phone today.

You are a voice that we forever have turned to in these big moments. I'm so thankful that you could jump on the phone with me now.

What do you make of today and this team?

COSTAS: This isn't much that I can add to what Briana Scurry and Christine Brennan and others have said the last couple of hours. Except in an overview sense. While all championships, all gold medals are great achievements, there are some that stay with the public beyond that season or beyond that moment. They resonate well beyond the moment. And this is clearly going to be one of those.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. The fact that they haven't lost a single game in the span of two World Cups. How dominant are these athletes, is this team really? Can you put that in perspective?

COSTAS: Well, they're pretty darn dominant. I don't want to go to apples and oranges, but clearly they're unrivaled. Clearly, they were the favorites going in and they delivered on that.

So when you compare them, as some have, and I think this argument is losing traction by the moment, that they don't, in some sense, compare with men in terms of revenue or if they played the men head-to-head, which is a ridiculous argument, all of that kind of fades away because the impact that they have had on U.S soccer.

With all due respect to the men, most casual fans can't name a single man on the national team, whereas, these women have become rock stars. So what they have done for U.S soccer is much greater than what the men's team has done. The men's team has never won a gold medal, never won a World Cup. The women dominate throughout all of that.

So when you hear the argument that, in the World Cup, the men's tournament generates billions and the women's tournament generates tens of millions, that might be true if you're talking about Italy or Spain --

BOLDUAN: Bob?

COSTAS: -- where it doesn't measure up in popularity, but in the United States, the women's game dwarfs the men's game in popularity. End of argument when it comes to equal pay and when it comes to the impact, the positive impact they have had on the game of soccer in the United States for little girls and little boys.

BOLDUAN: Bob, we're going to jump back into this event.

Robin Roberts is about to kick things off.

Bob Costas, thanks so much. Bob, it's great to hear from you.

All right, let's listen in to city hall.

ROBIN ROBERTS, NBC CO-ANCHOR, GOOD MORNING, AMERICA: -- two titles back to back, in 2015 and 2019.

U.S. head coach, Jill Ellis!

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: U.S. national team high performance coach, Don Scott.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: U.S Women's national team goalie coach, Brynn Able.

(CHEERING)

(MUSIC)

[11:10:07] ROBERTS: For penalty kicks, the U.S. semifinal was one of the most memorable moments in U.S. soccer history, Goalkeeper Ayssa Naeher.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: At 21 years old, she scored her first World Cup goal in France. Number two, forward, Mallory Pugh.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She got the assist on the goal in the World Cup final. Number 3, midfielder, Samantha Mewis.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: Team's USA leader of the pack. Nobody could stop her in the World Cup final. Number four defender, Becky Sauerbrunn.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She had the assist on the first goal in the World Cup semifinal win against England. Number five, defender, Kelley O'Hara.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She played all 90 minutes in the USA victory over Chile. Number six, midfielder, Morgan Brian.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She played the most minutes of any U.S. player in France. Number seven, defender, Abby Dahlkemper.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: The physical engine of the U.S. midfield and one of the world's best. Number eight, midfielder, Julie Ertz.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She had the assist on the game-winning goal in the World Cup semis. Number nine, midfielder, Lindsay Horan.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She scored three goals in France. And is the third all-time leading scorer for the USA in World Cup history. Number 10, out of New Jersey, Carli Lloyd.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She came off the bench to play the second half of the World Cup final, help secure the win. Number 11, Ali Krieger.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: At age 20, she was the youngest player on the team. Number 12, Tierna Davidson.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She scored six goals in France, won the Silver Boot as the second-best scorer. Number 13, Alex Morgan.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She played in her first World Cup final in France. Number 14, defender, Emily Sonnett.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She won the Bronze Ball as the third best player at the 2019 cup and scored the game-clinching goal in the final. You know who she is, number 14, Rose Lavelle.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: She entertained the world with her dynamic play and had the assist on the game-clinching goal in the historic quarterfinal against France. Number 17, out of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Tobin Heath.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: One of three world class goalkeepers on this roster. Number 18, Ashlyn Harris, out of New York.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: Out of New York, she was one of the best defenders at the cup. Number 19, Crystal Dunn.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: One of our local players out of Northport, New York. Number 20, midfielder, Allie Long.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: The two-time NWSL goalkeeper of the year. Number 21, Adrianna Franch.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

[11:15:17] ROBERTS: The only mom on the cup team. Number 22, forward, Jessica McDonald.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: Mama's got the moves.

She scored the opening goal in the World Cup semifinal against England. Number 23, forward, Christen Press.

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: One more. One more.

(CHEERING)

ROBERTS: The winner of the Golden Ball, best player, Golden Boot, top scorer, number 15, Megan Rapinoe!

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

(CHEERING)

(SINGING)

ROBERTS: Stay right there. Stay right there. Take a seat. Take a seat. Take a seat.

(CHEERING)

(CHANTING)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of colors by the Interagency Color Guard consisting of representatives from the New York City Police Department --

BOLDUAN: All right, do not move. Do not go anywhere, because we don't even know what's going to happen next. But we know it's going to be amazing and fun.

We'll be right back with the city hall celebration of the U.S. national women's soccer team, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:22:28] BOLDUAN: Welcome back, everybody.

A parade of champions. We are watching New York City hall right now as we continue to watch this really just fabulous day-long celebration of the U.S Women's national soccer team, the World Cup champs four times over.

We're watching city hall. That right there's the president of the U.S Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro.

With me right now as we're waiting very shortly, we'll hear some of the players speak, Christine Brennan is here with me.

First and foremost, before we -- and there's Megan Rapinoe. It's been just awesome to watch this play out. You had such great commentary throughout the morning. What does this mean for everybody? It's so beyond a parade and beyond some fantastic dance moves.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: It is. Right. This is -- we were talking in the break, the idea that this is a watershed moment that will be studied years from now. I do not believe it is overstating the case to say that. And 1999 was a revelation. We have fallen in love with what we created with Title IX. This is an affirmation. This is the nation saying this is great, we want to see more of this.

These are the little girls you see running to practice, soccer, volley wall, whatever, every day in your neighborhood. They grow up and this is what happens.

I also don't think it's a reach, Kate, to say this is set behind the backdrop of 100 women in Congress, 25 women in the Senate. This is that conversation. Whether it's #metoo, not this, but women speaking out, equal pay, it's all wrapped in one. And this will be one of those seminal moments that we look at.

BOLDUAN: This is a little bit of a wild moment to be watching play out just right there in front of city hall, right? You're seeing the president of the U.S Soccer Federation, which has been coming -- which is kind of at the center of the criticism and the issue that the women's soccer team has right now for equal pay.

BRENNAN: And what he is doing is enumerating point by point all of the great things they did in the World Cup.

(CROSSTALK)

BRENNAN: Basically, all of their talking points and negotiating points when they get to the mediation in a couple of weeks. It's fascinating.

He made -- well, they have a collective bargaining agreement. What he's going to say is we're going to stick with that. That will be his argument.

But he is facing a tsunami of public opinion against him. He's looking out at that tsunami right now. He's seeing it in the future. And it is --

BOLDUAN: Good point.

BRENNAN: It is filled with irony, Kate, that this man is the one leading the charge against equal pay, as he is singing the praises of those players who he wants to deprive of equal pay with the U.S. men.

[11:25:08] BOLDUAN: This really is. Tell me what you think. At the end, we heard it from the stage already today. We've heard it in all the conversations. When the audience -- when the crowd after the final game, Christine, shouts "USA" and "equal pay" back at the players, have you ever seen a team, a group of athletes use their platform so effectively to draw attention to an issue that they're championing?

BRENNAN: People think it's hyperbole if you mention the names Muhammed Ali or Billie Jean King. I do not think it's that. Different stories in each case.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

BRENNAN: But in terms of athletes standing for what they believe and then backing it up, as Megan Rapinoe did -- she blew the doors off the arena. She could have folded under the pressure. A lesser athlete might have. She's taking on the president of the United States. Back and forth. She's not backing down. Then she scores all those goals, two against France, two against England. She becomes the toast of the nation.

That pose will be on T-shirts and posters, in millions of girls' bedrooms or closets, maybe boys as well. And so I think that's why we're talking about it in such hyped-up terms.

I'm sure there are daughters and people who say, no, no, no. No, I think this is that big of a deal. And I think Megan Rapinoe, with her courage and her strength -- also we talked about this. They don't care. They do not care what we think.

BOLDUAN: I love their swagger. I do.

BRENNAN: I have never seen a group of female athletes not care. In other words, be so confident and so comfortable in their skin that it doesn't matter to them at all. That is a big change.

BOLDUAN: And one thing -- we heard it from all along the parade route when our correspondents and anchors were speaking to the girls and boys along the parade route, why -- oh, I'm being told by the Control Room we should dip back in right now to the festivities. Let's listen in.

CARLOS CORDEIRO, PRESIDENT, U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION: And we're committed to doing right by you.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING) CORDEIRO: And that is why -- that is why, over the years, from our development programs to our youth national teams to our professional leagues, the NWSL, to our women's national team, U.S soccer has invested more in women's soccer than any country in the world.

(SHOUTING)

CORDEIRO: And we will continue to invest --

(CHANTING)

CORDEIRO: We will continue to invest more in women's soccer than any country in the world and continue to encourage others, including our friends at FIFA, to do the same.

We believe -- we believe that U.S soccer -- that all female athletes deserve fair and equitable pay.

(CHEERING)

CORDEIRO: And together, together, I believe we can get this done.

(CHEERING)

CORDEIRO: Because, because as this team has taught us, being the greatest isn't just about how you play on the field. It's about what you stand for off the field.

(CHEERING)

CORDEIRO: It's about who we are as a sport and a country. The 2019 women's World Cup champions, the United States of America, one nation, one team. Go USA!

(CHEERING)

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERTS: Saw you leaning in there, Jill. Saw you leaning in there at the end. Very important to know your audience.

All right, we're going to hear from the players now.

(CHEERING)

Yes, yes!

(CHEERING)

And we're going to begin with the woman who has done so much for U.S soccer. Whether it is the World Cup team or the Olympics, she is the third all-time leading scorer in the history of women's soccer in the U.S. You know who I'm talking about, Carli Lloyd.

(CHEERING)

(SHOUTING)

(APPLAUSE)

(SINGING)

CARLI LLOYD, U.S. SOCCER TEAM PLAYER: Thank you.

(SINGING)

[11:30:00]