Carli Lloyd is aiming to sign off her illustrious playing career by helping USA Women claim gold at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
The 38-year-old has scored a total of 123 international goals – making her USA Women’s fourth-highest goalscorer ever – and is widely regarded as one of the greatest female players of all time.
Lloyd, also a two-time World Cup winner has been part of the USA squads that won gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 before the reigning Olympic champions suffered a surprise quarter-final defeat to Sweden at Rio 2016.
Lloyd would love nothing better than to be selected in next year’s Olympic squad before bowing out with the ultimate prize once again.
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Speaking exclusively to The Women’s Football Show, Lloyd said: “I’ve won awards, medals and championships with my team-mates which is amazing, but what I cherish most is the journey and to see where I have come from and where I am at now.
“But there comes a point where you do want to step into the next chapter and my husband and I would like to have kids.
“I think this pandemic time at home has given me a glimpse of what life could look like post-soccer and I’ve put so many things on hold during my whole entire career which I don’t have any regrets about.
“It’s an amazing game and I am just thankful I have had the opportunity to play in four World Cups, three Olympics and hopefully another Olympics as well.
“I think I am ready to give it one last hurrah – hopefully make the Olympics team and win a gold with my team-mates.”
Lloyd’s longevity down to commitment and adaptability
It’s hard to imagine a player so decorated could have considered quitting the game even before her career had started, but that was the case when Lloyd was cut from the USA U21 side in 2003.
It was a major turning point, with the forward making the decision to 100 per cent commit to the game – teaming up with coach and mentor James Galanis to unlock her potential, that at the time was being wasted.
“From that point on I made soccer my number one priority – it came ahead of everything – friends, family, boyfriend and it was just this addiction to want to become better every day,” Lloyd said.
“I was a player who relied on my talent in the early days and didn’t understand I had to work hard or understand the importance of fitness.
“I had the will, drive and desire but I needed somebody to help navigate me and bring it out and instil those other values that get you to the top.
“What I have been working on in the latter stages of my career is the tactical awareness of becoming a smarter player.
“You watch so many players over the course of the years and if they do just rely on athleticism their entire career they often have a short self-life, so, with me, it’s been about becoming smarter and to continue to play.”
WSL’s US signing spree analysed
When Alex Morgan’s move to Tottenham was completed just before the Transfer Deadline in Autumn, it capped off an extraordinary window for women’s football in England.
But with Morgan on her way back to Orlando after playing just five games for Spurs, what has the impact of the summer signing spree from the States been on the WSL?
Our reporter Anton Toloui analyses the situation ahead of the winter Transfer Window opening on January 1.
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