At 39 Carli Lloyd was, by some distance, the oldest player on the United States women’s soccer team in the Tokyo Olympics. She wasn’t the same player who established an unrivalled propensity for decisive goals from the 2008 Olympics to the 2015 World Cup.
So why does her imminent retirement seem so surprising?
No one would be surprised to hear a retirement announcement from the underappreciated Becky Sauerbrunn, the pragmatic central defender who has no desire to overstay her welcome. Nor would we be surprised to hear an (already hinted at) farewell note from Megan Rapinoe, whose contributions for club and country sharply declined after she excelled as a set-piece specialist in the 2019 World Cup.
Lloyd, on the other hand, seemed determined to play forever. She has always been driven by an obsessive desire to prove people wrong, even after scoring some of US soccer’s most important goals of the past 15 years.
Written by: Beau Dure