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N.J. Town Celebrates World Cup Champs And Hometown Hero Carli Lloyd


Let's hear what hometown pride sounds like. Delran, N.J., is celebrating their local hero Carli Lloyd. On Sunday night, the community near Philadelphia watched as Lloyd led the U.S. women's soccer team to a World Cup victory over Japan. The U.S. captain scored three goals and won the Golden Ball Award for being the tournament's best player. Bobby Allyn from member station WHYY reports from Delran.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Francesca Carollo lives two doors down from where Carli Lloyd grew up. She remembers a young Lloyd running up to her house on warm summer afternoons.

FRANCESCA CAROLLO: She was knocking at my door - can I play? - like, you know, in my backyard because I got a big backyard and used to play by herself and juggle with the ball. And my husband is Italian and said one day, this girl, she's going to be famous.

SAL CAROLLO: We just always looked up to her, and she just used to school us -all the guys and stuff.

ALLYN: That's Sal Carollo. He agrees with him mom. Everyone in Delran knew early on that Lloyd was bound for big things, but he says her rise also represents something else.

S. CAROLLO: It's someone that came from this town, a small town in New Jersey suburbs, middle-class neighborhood, and made something for herself. And a lot of people think of this day in age, oh, the American dream is over, but she's definitely a prime example of that.

ALLYN: A little ways from Lloyd's street, Michael Burke is walking his dog between two soccer fields. Just say the name Carli Lloyd, and his face lights up.

MICHAEL BURKE: I watched it with my wife, with my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law, and my niece and my nephew.

ALLYN: Burke says every television in Delran was tuned to the championship game.

BURKE: She's from Delran. That's why. What else would you do (laughter)?

ALLYN: He remembers the town gave her a parade after another big game and expects the same this time.

BURKE: That's the second time since I lived here that she kicked butt, and she really kicked butt yesterday.

ALLYN: Lloyd's three scores in the final game were the first hat trick in a Women's World Cup final and the fastest ever in any World Cup game. For NPR News, I'm Bobby Allyn in Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.

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