Carli Lloyd accomplished a feat so rare only 3 soccer players have ever pulled it off, but USWNT legend Abby Wambach wasn't surprised
From early on, she said, Lloyd's unrivaled commitment to her craft was apparent. It's no wonder, then, that the prolific forward is still bolstering the USWNT's dynamic offense, two World Cup victories, two Olympic gold medals, and 16 years later.
"I've seen her from the beginning grow into this professional player," Wambach said. "When she turns her professionalism on, she has never looked back. That is why she is still a player. That is why she is still playing soccer for 300 caps."
USWNT’s Carli Lloyd Set To Become Third-Ever Player To Make 300 International Appearances
Carli Lloyd on 2020: Worst of times, best of times as soccer star reunites with family
If Lloyd plays in that game, she’ll join former teammates Kristine Lilly and Christie Rampone (née Pearce) as the third player to appear in 300 international games. But the real milestone achievement will come afterward, when she receives calls and messages of congratulations from relatives she wasn’t talking to just a few months ago.
Lloyd entered 2020 having gone a dozen years without speaking to her parents and brother, a rift she wrote about in her 2016 book “When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World.”
Opinion: Carli Lloyd keeps on grinding after injury because that's what Carli Lloyd does
Cut from the Under-21 team in 2003, Lloyd has spent the rest of her career outworking, out-training, out-intensifying everyone. Which is no small thing on a team that has won the last two World Cups and boasts so much talent that those left off coach Vlatko Andonovski’s roster for the Tokyo Olympics could probably contend for a medal, too.
“She’s coming off a knee scope and playing 90 minutes. I think that’s incredible,” Andonovski said. “It was just a good example for some of the younger players in terms of what it takes to be on the next level.”
Lloyd rebounds from knee injury to play a full 90 for US
loyd last played in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. She did not play for her National Women’s Soccer League team, Sky Blue, in last summer’s Challenge Cup tournament or the league’s fall series. She also missed the national team’s final camp of 2020 and a match against the Netherlands.
“She’s coming off a knee scope and playing 90 minutes. I think that’s incredible,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She did a great job, assisted on two goals, helped us win the ball back, played for 90 minutes in high tempo. I think it was just a good example for some of the younger players in terms of what it takes to be on the next level.”
Carli Lloyd teaches, awes kids (and parents) at clinic in Mays Landing
Along with developing techniques such as juggling, dribbling, turns, foot skills and mental habits on and off the field, each athlete received a CL10-themed T-shirt, drawstring bag and an autographed photo of Lloyd, who is from Delran, Burlington County, and played at Rutgers University.
Lloyd called the parents over to thank them for bringing their kids. She told them to encourage the boys and girls to keep working on the drills and that it was nice to have some normalcy during this unique year.
CL10 has had camps across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and one in California since about 2008.
Lizette Slimm and her husband, Bill, traveled from Nazarareth, Pennsylvania, to bring their daughter Lily, 12, to the camp.
“My daughter is completely inspired by Carli Lloyd,” said Lizette, who noted her daughter was giving her thumbs-up from the field to indicate she was enjoying herself. “We wanted to give her this opportunity. … She is super excited to be here, and so are we.”
I Want Young Players To Be Inspired By My Journey
Five years ago today in Vancouver she scaled heights of achievement unparalleled in the sport. Within 15 minutes, 5 seconds of the World Cup Final, Lloyd had scored a hat-trick which not only destroyed her Japanese opponents and secured the United States their third world title but secured her immortality in the history of the game's greatest showpiece.