Carli Lloyd was estranged from her family for 12 years. A lost year reunited them.
Lloyd discussed her newfound relationship with her family in an interview with The Washington Post. Her family members could not be reached for comment.
Despite the long estrangement, she said, “We were meant to be in each other’s lives.”
“My parents always thought when I was done playing we could start to have a relationship,” Lloyd said. “It just so happened that 2020 happened, and here we are, and they are able to be part of this journey with me.”
In an exclusive interview with The Inquirer, U.S. soccer star and Delran native Carli Lloyd reflects on her quest for a record-tying fifth major title at the Tokyo Olympics, and why she’s never been happier in her career.
But there is a human being behind that machine. It hasn’t always been easily visible, and at times Lloyd has deliberately kept it hidden, but it’s there. And as Lloyd the soccer player prepares for the Olympics, the eighth and likely last major tournament of her career, Lloyd the human — who celebrated her 39th birthday on Friday with her U.S. teammates in Japan — is coming back to the fore.
“I think this is the first time in my career where I’m entering a major tournament feeling, physically and mentally, more prepared and ready than I ever have been,” she told The Inquirer. “But I think the most important aspect is I’ve never been this happy.”
Carli Lloyd was estranged from her family. How the postponed Olympics healed a 12-year rift
"I don’t know what would’ve happened if the Olympics actually went on in 2020," Lloyd told TODAY. "Would they have been a part of it? Would I have rekindled the relationship with them? I don’t know.
"I’m just happy now that we are in the place that we are, and everybody feels good about it."
A history of Carli Lloyd at the World Cup and Olympics
For Carli Lloyd, winning Gold in Tokyo would be “the best feeling in the entirety of my career”
At 39, Carli Lloyd Will Be The Oldest U.S. Women's Team Player To Go To The Olympics
Lloyd and her teammates who were just selected for the Summer Olympics hope to join that elite club, following their 2019 World Cup title with an Olympic gold. Experience is on their side — nearly the entire Olympic roster played in the Cup — but the other side of that edge is age.
"Obviously, we have a lot of experience on this roster, but we're going to need all 18 players to play a huge role in this," Lloyd says.
A third Olympic gold would put another exclamation point on Lloyd's career. FIFA has twice honored her as the best women's player in the world, and she has won two World Cup championships. Lloyd is also one of only three players, male or female, to appear in 300 or more international matches.
Lloyd says she's never been in better shape, despite speculation that she might retire after Tokyo. In an interview with NPR, Lloyd also discusses how the team has changed over the years — and what hasn't.
Carli Lloyd makes history as USWNT soccer roster for Tokyo Olympics is announced
No one fits that description better than Lloyd.
Relegated to the bench at the 2019 World Cup, the two-time FIFA Player of the Year had said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue to Tokyo. But a coaching switch – Andonovski replaced Jill Ellis in October of that year – and the year postponement of the Olympics because of COVID-19 has rejuvenated Lloyd, who said earlier this month that her game is now at a “whole other level.”
There’s Nothing Carli Lloyd Would Want More Than To Make USWNT Olympic Roster
“It would be amazing. There’s something really special about the Olympics and playing for this team,” said Lloyd, hoping to play in her fourth Olympics. “Nothing is guaranteed. Hard work gets you to the top, extreme hard work keeps you at the top. I’m just grateful to be able to continue to still play and live out my dream.
“There’s nothing I would want more than to make the team and help the team win a gold medal.”