Carli Lloyd, ‘unapologetically me,’ savors the last dance

KASHIMA, Japan — Carli Lloyd spent the 45-minute bus ride to the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium on Thursday deep in thought, and no, she wasn’t thinking about retirement. Not quite. Not yet.

But something about this pregame drive, she admitted, was “different.”

Would it be her last at the Olympics? Her last with the U.S. national team? She hasn’t said, but as she meandered through Japanese countryside, en route to one last game at these Olympics, she allowed her mind to wander. To drift into the past.

She reflected less on the accomplishments — the 312 USWNT appearances, the four major trophies — and more so on the work. On the grind. On the personal film sessions, at home on her laptop. On the stretching, and deep-tissue muscle work, and massages, and ice baths in a horse trough in her Medford, New Jersey, backyard.

Written by: Henry Bushnell