Five goals for Carli Lloyd in USWNT farewell tour

Carli Lloyd of the USWNT celebrates after scoring her third goal against Paraguay (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Carli Lloyd of the USWNT celebrates after scoring her third goal against Paraguay (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
Carli Lloyd
Carli Lloyd of the USWNT celebrates after scoring her third goal against Paraguay. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Thursday night’s game was all about Carli Lloyd before the game even started. These four post-Olympics USWNT matches are a farewell tour as she says goodbye to the game and hangs up her boots.

Fans savored the opportunity to watch her do what she does best for one of the last times. She delivered everything they hoped for and more.

Everyone expected the USWNT to do considerable damage in the goals department against Paraguay. But the fact that five of the nine goals on the night came from the star striker herself was rather impressive.

Paraguay’s defense was disorganized and chaotic, and Lloyd took full advantage of that. On Thursday night, she could not miss.

Carli Lloyd did not keep USWNT fans waiting

It didn’t take long for Lloyd to find the back of the net.

Just three minutes into the game she was out-jumping three defenders to head the ball in and celebrate goal number one. Three minutes after that, it was goal number two. Already it looked like the night would revolve around her. Little did we know she was only just getting started.

Goals number three, four, and five for Lloyd were tucked away in the 34th, 38th, and 61st minute. Only nine USWNT players throughout history had scored five goals in a single game and Lloyd was tantalizingly close to capturing the elusive number six. Though she ended the game with five, it was still a historic night as she worked her way up to number three on the USWNT all-time scoring list.

You would think a night like this would be enough to steer anyone away from retirement and back into the game but Lloyd addressed these feelings in her post-match interview.

"I just want to live life. Sure being out there on a night like tonight and World Cups, Olympics, crowds, anthem, tunnel, sharing the field with my teammates…I wish I could do it forever. But all good things eventually come to an end and I definitely am for sure retiring. I’m not going to come back out of retirement."

This was a huge match for the youngsters of the team as well, with Andi Sullivan netting her first two international goals and Mallory Pugh walking away with three assists. But as exciting of a night as it was for them, there was only one name reverberating throughout the stands, and that was Carli Lloyd.

It was a bittersweet night for the star as she celebrated her success while simultaneously understanding that with one game down she only has three left in her career.

She reflected on the evening, saying:

"Tonight I just savored everything. Heard every chant, saw as many posters as I could…jersey’s hanging. It was incredible."

Next. USWNT legend Carli Lloyd retires. dark

I have no doubt Paraguay is dreading Tuesday’s rematch, but it provides one more opportunity to watch Carli Lloyd shine.