Philadelphia

NJ's Lloyd announces retirement, ends historic USWNT career

Philadelphia

Carli Lloyd, the New Jersey native and South Jersey native who became a Philly icon for her legendary international performances and rabid Philly sports fandom, is retiring from international play.

The official Twitter account for the U.S. Women's National Team announced Lloyd's retirement Monday morning with a pair of tweets and a full release:

Lloyd is also winding down her club career, according to the release.

“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 the release. “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.

“I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years. I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation."

It's cool that the USWNT and Lloyd made this announcement ahead of time, in case fans want to make sure they get one last in-person look at the legend in those four upcoming friendlies before she retires. The friendlies will be held this fall, two in September and two in October. We'll see if one of those friendlies winds up close to home.

 

The NWSL's regular season runs through Oct. 31, and NJ/NY Gotham FC is currently in third, though they're just three points clear of sixth so we'll see if they reach the postseason.

Lloyd, 39, put together a career that is truly one of the all-timers in U.S. women's soccer. She has 312 international appearances with the USWNT since 2005 and 128 goals, which puts her fourth in U.S. history and tied for fifth in international history. In her club career Lloyd played in the NWSL, the WPS, and England's Women's Super League 1, scoring 35 goals in 132 career appearances.

Lloyd was a member of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal teams and the 2015 and 2019 Women's World Cup gold medal teams, along with multiple silver and bronze medal teams, including this summer's bronze medal 2020 Olympic team. She's best known for her hat trick in the 2015 Women's World Cup gold medal game vs. Japan, in which she scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of the match en route to a 5-2 victory.

Lloyd was named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2008, the FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball in 2015, the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2015, and the Best FIFA Women's Player in 2016.

Lloyd also momentarily toyed with the idea of trying to become a place kicker in the NFL after she spent a day at Eagles training camp in 2018 and drained a 55-yard field goal. The idea ultimately never came to fruition, but it was fun to think about.

For now, it seems like Lloyd's professional sports career is winding down - though I'd imagine we'll be seeing plenty more of her as she finds new ventures and platforms in the years to come.