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Carli Lloyd announces retirement, ending arguably the greatest career in USWNT history

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Carli Lloyd, the best big-game player in U.S. women’s national team history, has announced her retirement from the USWNT, while laying out her plans to wrap up her historic playing career for club and country in the coming months.

The 39-year-old World Cup and Olympic champion will play her final matches in a USWNT uniform in a series of Fall friendlies set to be announced in the coming days, and will play her final professional season when she finishes up the current NWSL campaign with NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Lloyd helped lead the USWNT to Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, and also Women’s World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019. She not only played key roles on those title teams, but also made it her trademark to deliver in the biggest matches. She scored the winning goal in the finals of the 2008 and 20012 Olympics, and three of the first four goals in the USWNT’s 5-2 World Cup final romp over Japan in 2015.

“When I first started out with the National Team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships.” Lloyd said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long.”

Lloyd heads into her final USWNT matches currently on 312 caps, the second-most in soccer history (behind former teammate Kristine Lilly’s 354), and 128 career international goals, tied for fifth-most in world soccer history.

Lloyd played her final competitive international match in the recent Olympic bronze medal match win vs. Australia, delivering on the big stage one last time with a two-goal performance that included scoring the game-winning goal.


What is your fondest memory of Carli Lloyd’s career? Do you think she is the best USWNT player of all-time?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. As in form as Carli Lloyd was coming into the Olympics, it’s puzzling to me as to why the coach didn’t start her, the very 1st match vs Sweden. Knowing she didn’t play as much as she wanted in the’19 WC. Knowing this was probably her last tourney. Knowing her resume, I would’ve like to see her start every match. She was her attacking, nose for goal self in the bronze match, like she has been since the beginning of the year. I’m glad, I got a chance to see her in the her last Olympics! She’s brought so much joyous moments for me as a fan!! Good luck to her & fam!

    Reply
    • While Carli was in shape coming into the Olympics, her ball-striking had been off the entire year and she wasn’t scoring goals. That is why she wasn’t started against Sweden. This continued until the final match where her touch finally came back when it was needed for a medal.

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  2. After the semi-final loss to Canada at the Tokyo games, when the rest of the US players hung their heads and walked to the locker room, Carli stayed on the field and ran wind sprints. That is why she was still good at age 39, running circles around opponents 10 years younger. If anyone asks if the US women deserve to be treated as ‘real’ professionals, look no further than Carli.
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    My guess is she starts a family while she has a few child-bearing years left. Maybe if we are lucky, she’ll become a coach for our future female players

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  3. For sure, the 2015 W/C Final VS JAPAN was Carli’s Greatest Match. The fact she was named the Player of the Tournament speaks for itself.

    There are a number of USWNT players who stood out as GREAT for different reasons. Carli’s ability to move, away from the ball, found her repeatedly in the right place at the right time. This isn’t something you can teach a person. It is instinctive, and all of the GREAT Players seem to have it.

    Abby Wambaugh has to be recognized as the best pure Goal Scorer in USWNT History. She was Big and Extremely Physical and gave up her body for the cause more times than anyone I can remember. She is the type of Center-Forward that the USWNT will need to find if it is to remain dominant.

    Michelle Akers was the most dominant player, once she was moved from C/F to Center Midfield that the U.S. has ever had. After she scored 5 goals in the Quarter-Finals against China in the 1991 W/C, (most W/C goals ever scored in a knockout round match) she was double-team in the semis and beat up so bad (although U. S. won 5-0) that she was moved to Mid-Field for the Finals and ran both the U.S. goals in from that position in the 2-1 win over Norway. She continued her dominance at midfield, but a chronic medical condition cut her career short, as some of you may remember her being carried off the field in the 1999 W/C Finals against China at the Rose Bowl, and being helped back to accept her Championship medal. 1999 heroine, Brandy Chastain recently said that Michelle Akers was the GREATEST Female Soccer Player she has ever seen or played with.

    There are at least a dozen other USWNT players that deserve to have the word GREAT before their name. However, until they retire, I will continue to accumulate their accomplishments for comment.

    Reply
    • Nope. Have the sheer confidence in a final to try that sets her apart. Probably the best individual performance I have seen on the field. Second best is Zidane beating Brazil by himself in the finals 20 years ago.

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  4. Michelle Akers, at her best, was a force, but I think it would be hard to argue that anyone has put together a more distinguished career. She won everything you could win at the international level, and a number of times at that. She could play just about anywhere on the pitch and could change a game wherever she played. She practically won a World Cup final single-handedly. She’s definitely not my *favorite* USWNT player of all-time but I think she’s unequivocally the best.

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    • IDK how people define “the best” She hung on for too many years… is that the best? Does she have the skills of a Mia Hamm or Lilly? no… So why was she the best? She had a good career but like Abby… stayed too long IMO

      Reply

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