US women's soccer team inspires young generation of girls at Cal soccer camp

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The U.S. women's soccer team will return to the U.S. for a victory parade in New York City before heading to court in their lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in a fight for equal pay.

At a summer soccer camp in Berkeley for young girls put on by the Cal women's soccer team, Team USA is still energizing the young athletes and are being called role models.

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"Now we have these (female) players who are iconic and we know them. It's just as exciting as men, if not more," said Berkeley resident Sabeen Afcari, who is taking part in the camp.

Afcari is hoping to up her game at this soccer camp at Cal. But she's also hoping for U.S. Soccer to up their game because, for this 13-year-old girl, women getting paid less than men doesn't make sense.

"One, the women have won lots more than the men. And I just think that's too old for the day and age now for them to not be paid the same. And to have so many people watching it, there really is no excuse," she said.

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Mia Corbin, a senior forward on Cal's women's team, is coaching at the camp.

Corbin calls the U.S. women's team role models - not just because of their back-to-back World Cup wins, but for being the group of women who produced the results to justify their demands.

"There is unequal pay and it sucks. Like for women, we really can't make a career out of it long-term," Corbin said.

Cori Callahan, who is an assistant soccer coach at Cal, played college soccer with U.S. star Megan Rapinoe, who was named the top player of the tournament. As a soccer veteran, Callahan says the World Cup win is so much more than sports.

Speaking of Rapinoe, Callahan said, "To have the strength, to have the voice that she has had and she has a lot of negative critics. And a lot of hate. And for her to still stand up and know what she is doing matters and it's worth it for her to take all of that. That it's going to make the difference and they're going to come back and make a difference for all these little girls out there at camp today. I got a little girl at home and I'm just excited for what the future holds," Callahan said.

Four years after the U.S. women's soccer team won at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, the team successfully defended its title, this time playing against the Netherlands, winning 2 to 0, in front of a sold-out crowd of 57,900 in France's Stade de Lyon.

Much of the stadium chanted "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" throughout the final. But after their win, the fans in the stadium chanted "Equal Pay! Equal Pay!" as a final send off for these women.
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