PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been a World Cup whirlwind for Pine-Richland’s Meghan Klingenberg – and the rest of the Women’s National Soccer Team.
Just days after their big win, they got a hero’s welcome in Los Angeles. There was a ticker-tape parade in New York City last Friday, where they each got a key to the city. Klingenberg was then on stage with Taylor Swift that same night. And in Houston with her pro-team for a match on Sunday.READ MORE: Kennywood Park Reopens For 2021 Season With COVID-19 Safety Protocols In Place
She even got on the cover of Sports Illustrated. And Wednesday night, she was alongside Abby Wambach to accept the award for “Best Team” at the ESPYs.
“It’s been the best 10 days of our lives,” she said.
There’s no rest for America’s favorite sports heroes.
But now, Klingenberg is back home in Pittsburgh for her soccer camp and to be the guest of honor at Saturday’s Riverhounds game.
She talked at the Allegheny Health Complex in Wexford upon her homecoming.
“I’ve been jetting all over the place, so being in Pittsburgh is… I’m not able to be here enough and when I am, I’m very grateful to be,” said Klingenberg.
The petite soccer champ marvels at the way her life has changed ever since the World Cup championship.
“Being recognized at the airport, being recognized at dinner, having people pay for your dinner. That is just, that boggles my mind,” she said. “I’m so grateful.”
Klingenberg plans on using her new found fame to make a difference. That’s what’s she’s doing for the 140 girls who’ve come to her soccer camp in Wexford.READ MORE: Voter ID Is A Flashpoint In Pennsylvania Election Law Talks
She greeted every one of them, posed for pictures, and signed autographs.
But it’s not just rock star her fans admire, for many of them, it’s the first female athlete role model they’ve ever known.
“I look up to her a lot,” said Olivia Prestone, a camper. “She has the great ambition. I hope that I can have the passion for soccer that she has one day.”
Klingenberg, meantime, appears to be handling her fame with grace and dignity. She’s fondly remembers her days at Pine-Richland High School.
“They really prepared me for the next step, college, the real world. Not every high school does that,” she says. “So I was incredibly fortunate to be a part of Pine-Richland School District.
She says the pose she made for Sports Illustrated truly represents the pride she has for representing Pittsburgh and the USA.
“Finally being able to hold on to it and really embrace the trophy. That’s exactly how I felt. And I think it came through in the photograph, and I think it was probably the first one we took,” Klingenberg said.
You’ll get more chances to meet the Pittsburgh native and World Cup champ.
She’ll be appearing Saturday night at Highmark Stadium for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds game. Then, on Aug. 16, the World Cup soccer team comes to Heinz Field.MORE NEWS: Ohio Becomes Latest State To Propose Transgender Sports Ban