U.S. Women’s National Team two-time gold medalist Carli Lloyd wants you to know there is more to her than just the insatiable desire to win.
Carli Lloyd may retire after the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Or, she may not. Whatever the decision is it won’t be based on her fading ability to play the game she loves.
“I am feeling better than I ever have,” Lloyd told FanSided. “I’m feeling the fittest that I have ever felt, the most explosive strong fast that I’ve ever been in my career. I’m recovering better now, I’m training harder, my load has increased, that’s the tough thing. For me bowing out, I don’t think it’s going to be a physical thing.”
It has long been rumored that Lloyd will retire after the Olympics. If so, Lloyd is sprinting to the finish line working harder and perhaps better than ever. Her aptitude on the soccer field is rising as well.
“I’m a way better overall soccer player now than I have ever been,” Lloyd explained. “Read the game better, make better decisions. It’s not just head down drive straight for goals. I’m creating, I’m setting players up, I’m assisting.”
Walking away from the sport that has given you so much when you clearly still enjoy it is not easy. In Lloyd’s case, it will be a matter of giving up good things to have even better.
USWNT: Carli Lloyd not afraid to walk away from the game she loves
“It’s going to be starting a family, wanting to have kids with my husband, wanting to spend time with my husband and my family and friends and living life and being able to do the things that I’ve put on hold for 18 years or really the majority of my life,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd is an extremely fit 38-years old with a lengthy list of accomplishments. Her impressive resume includes two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012), two World Cup championships (2015 and 2019), plus two FIFA Player of the Year awards (2015 and 2016).
Despite all the success on the field, Lloyd feels the soccer world does not truly understand her wide-ranging personality.
“We live in a world where people want to slap labels on you,” Lloyd said. “They want to actually think that they know who you are and I think for so long for my entire career I have been completely misunderstood and that’s great. I have marched to my own beat, I’ve done things differently, I’ve gone against the grain, I’ve never wavered from anything but my true authentic self. I live it, I breathe it. It’s a switch that has remained on every single year every single day and I think it’s great.”
Labels. Sometimes they are flattering, sometimes not so much. The positive, no matter what is being said, is that they are talking about you. Say what you want on social media, but Lloyd does want you to know one thing about her.
“I’m actually a softie,” Lloyd said. “I tear up in sappy love movies. I’m all for romance and the gushy mushy stuff. I think people just assume that I’m this crazy person all the time but I’m actually a softie with a good heart.”
It will be gushy and mushy for Lloyd if the USWNT win the gold in Tokyo. She will then have a decision to make that might bring out some emotions as well.
Carli Lloyd is partnering with Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant to share her journey to Tokyo and to discuss women in sports and gender equality.