Carlos Alfaro, 19, practices with a soccer ball before a match in New York City. Some members of his youth soccer team are set to meet with Pope Francis in September. Hansi Lo Wang/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

The night before the NBA exhibition game, two South African teams faced off in Johannesburg. Hoops aren't exactly a huge draw in the soccer-loving country. Attendance was about 1,000. Don Boroughs for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Don Boroughs for NPR

Head coach Jill Ellis of the United States celebrates with fans after the USA's 5-2 victory against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final in July. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Germany's Alexandra Popp and the U.S.'s Morgan Brian collide during a World Cup semifinal in June. Both were injured, but continued to play. Brad Smith//ISI/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Brad Smith//ISI/Corbis

Well ahead of the ticker-tape parade's 11 a.m. start time, young fans were already in place along the route to celebrate the U.S. women's World Cup victory. Adam Hunger/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Hunger/AP

Sunday's FIFA Women's World Cup final drew record U.S. TV ratings that are similar to the decisive Game 6 of last month's NBA Finals. Here, Carli Lloyd, No. 10, celebrates the second U.S. goal with teammates. Wang Lili/Xinhua /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Wang Lili/Xinhua /Landov

To the delight of American fans, Carli Lloyd of the United States scored a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of the FIFA Women's World Cup Final against Japan on Sunday. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Goalie Hope Solo of the United States celebrates with midfielder Carli Lloyd on Friday after defeating China 1-0 in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals in Ottawa, Canada. Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Abby Wambach of the U.S. (from right) celebrates with teammates Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath after scoring against Nigeria at the end of the first half Tuesday during the FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver, Canada. Ben Nelms/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ben Nelms/EPA/Landov

Nigerian fans stand and deliver cheers at a match against Australia, played during the Women's World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada. Russell Lewis/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Russell Lewis/NPR

Robbie Keane scored in Ireland's controversial World Cup qualifying match with France on Nov. 18, 2009 — but the country was eliminated by the aggregate score of 2-1. Ireland's soccer association says FIFA paid 5 million euros — $7 million at 2010 exchange rates — over a blatant breaking of the rules by France. Michael Steele/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Steele/Getty Images

The headquarters of the South American Football Confederation, or CONMEBOL, in Luque, Paraguay. The confederation has the status of an embassy, which includes legal immunity in Paraguay. Two former heads of CONMEBOL have been indicted in the FIFA scandal, accused of taking bribes and money laundering. Norberto Duarte/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Norberto Duarte/AFP/Getty Images

American Outlaws, seen on the big screen, cheer for the U.S. women's national team more than half an hour before kickoff during a match with Mexico on May 17. Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

FIFA President Sepp Blatter kicks a ball during the inauguration of a football stadium in the village of Dura al-Qari near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday. Blatter said he is on a "mission of peace" to resolve tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian soccer federations. Majdi Mohammed/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Majdi Mohammed/AP

FC Barcelona plays Getafe in Barcelona, Spain, on May 3. Spain's soccer federation says it will halt all professional games "indefinitely" starting May 16, to protest a new law regulating the sale of television game rights. Spain's professional soccer league opposes the planned suspension, but the players union supports it. Manu Fernandez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manu Fernandez/AP