USWNT legend Carli Lloyd retires to start new life chapter

USWNT's Carli Lloyd celebrates scoring against Australia at Tokyo Olympics (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
USWNT's Carli Lloyd celebrates scoring against Australia at Tokyo Olympics (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
Carli Lloyd
USWNT veteran Carli Lloyd celebrates scoring against Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in the bronze medal match. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Carli Lloyd leaves USWNT as one of all-time greats

I’ve been rather critical of Carli Lloyd’s performances as of late, but the reality is she’s had a remarkable career and has continued to be remarkable well into her late thirties.

Lloyd made the leap from the national youth team to the senior national team in 2005, just before I was making the (obviously equally momentous) leap from middle school to high school. This meant Lloyd was rocking the world stage throughout every major moment of my own soccer career from college showcase tournaments, to a Stanford National Championship, to playing professionally in Iceland.

Though admittedly Abby Wambach was the player I looked to the most, having had a particularly memorable meeting with her at the Nike Cup Tournament in my club soccer days, there’s no denying that Carli Lloyd had plenty of inspiration to offer as well.

Lloyd will have the chance to add to her goal tally in her final four matches with the USWNT as she joins them for friendlies in the fall. As things stand now, however, she has 128 international goals and 312 caps for the USWNT.

Carli Lloyd scored big-time goals in big-time games, led the team through many games as captain, became the oldest USWNT player to score a goal, won the Golden Ball at the 2015 World Cup, won the World Cup twice (2015, 2019), won a gold medal at the Olympics twice (2008, 2012), won U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year twice (2008, 2015), and won FIFA Women’s Player of the Year twice (2015, 2016).

If I were to include every record she’s broken or every award she’s won, the list would be a full page on its own. But you get the picture … she did alright for herself.

At 39 years of age, it was mildly surprising that Carli Lloyd was chosen for the Tokyo Olympics over the budding youth in the USWNT player pool, but the statistics show that, like cheese and wine, she’s only gotten better with age. In fact, 92 of her 128 goals were scored after she turned 30.

I’ve never once questioned Carli Lloyd’s work ethic or her willpower or her determination to be the best. She’s faced a lot of criticism, particularly as she’s gotten older, and every time she said “shame on you for doubting me” and showed up ready to prove why she’s still around.

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In addition to the four USWNT friendlies in the fall, Lloyd will finish out the current NWSL season with Gotham FC. So we haven’t quite seen the last of her yet. When she bows out at the end of the year, she will go down as one of the all-time U.S. soccer greats.