There weren't quite as many people packed inside the Barnes & Noble store in Cherry Hill for Carli Lloyd's book signing Thursday night as there were in Vancouver's BC Place for last year's World Cup final, or even Talen Energy Stadium for Lloyd's last game in the region in April.
But you could barely get in the store an hour before the event started, and the line to get autographs and pictures only grew longer as the evening progressed. It was the only stop in the Philadelphia region of the 12 on Lloyd's tour to promote her book, When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World.
A store representative said 900 copies were sold over the course of the day. Just about all the buyers seemed to be in that line by the time Lloyd arrived after fighting through rain-soaked rush hour traffic.
And of course, they were just about all completely starstruck.
"I really look up to Carli Lloyd, and she is a big inspiration for me," said Allison Roberto, 11, of Bucks County. "I'm speechless right now."
While Lloyd met with a few reporters in a back storeroom, a gaggle of fans outside the closed door chanted her name.
Logan Myers and Samantha Pappas, both 10 and both from Delran, got to shake Lloyd's hand when their idol emerged. They joked - presumably - that they wouldn't wash their hands again.
For as big as the crowd was, there were two notable absences: Lloyd's mother and father. As the 34-year-old star documented in searing detail in the book, she has been estranged from her parents since early 2008.
She admitted Thursday night that she didn't originally intend to reveal that in the book.
"When we were meeting with publishers, I never mentioned once anything about my family," she said. "Everything was purely soccer, and that's how I was going to keep it."
But her ghostwriter, former New York Daily News reporter Wayne Coffey, coaxed her into letting the story out.
"This was part of my journey - to a lot of people, it was the worst thing in the world for my family to not be a part of this," Lloyd said. "I'm happy that I did it, and hopefully in the near future we can put the pieces back together."
Some of Lloyd's other relatives were in attendance, including cousin Jaime Bula, who Lloyd says in the book was a role model when she was growing up.
"I see how tough it's been for her," Bula said. "It's good that she and Wayne decided to add that into the book."
Many of Lloyd's old friends also stopped by, including teammates from the Medford Strikers youth soccer team she played on as a teenager.
Once the crowd had its fill, Lloyd got a moment to reflect on the occasion.
"It was awesome," she said. "This is what it's really all about - kids look up to me, and it's inspiring."