- US Women’s National Team (USWNT) co-captain Carli Lloyd recently described her team’s historic run in the 2019World Cup as “absolutely the worst time of my life.”
- On ESPN’s ‘Laughter Permitted’ podcast, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year told host Julie Foudy that she was deeply dissatisfied with her playing time during the USWNT’s seven-game stretch in France.
- Lloyd was notably open with the media about her grievances and said that she felt comfortable doing so because of her continued conversations with then-USWNT head coach Jill Ellis.
- With the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo on the horizon, Lloyd hopes that whoever replaces Ellis at the helm “values me, respects me, [and] wants me part of the Olympic plans.”
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For nearly every soccer player on the planet, winning a World Cup would be the pinnacle of their athletic career.
But for US Women’s National Team (USWNT) co-captain Carli Lloyd, competing for and ultimately taking home the 2019 World Cup was “absolutely the worst time of my life.”
The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, two-time Olympic Gold medalist, and now two-time World Cup champion spoke about her disatisfaction with her role during the USWNT’s most recent World Cup run in France on ESPN’s ‘Laughter Permitted’ podcast hosted by former USWNT midfielder Julie Foudy.
“It was hard. I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat it,” Lloyd said. “It was absolutely the worst time in my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with my friends. It really was the rock bottom of my entire career.”
“It sucked. It absolutely sucked,” she added.
The 37-year-old did not start in any of the United States’ World Cup matches this summer, playing just 194 minutes in total. Still, Lloyd appeared in each of the USWNT’s seven games in France – more than teammates Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan – and scored three goals in that stretch.
“There’s no denying it, I deserved to be out on that field that whole World Cup,” Lloyd said. “But I wasn’t.”
Lloyd told Foudy that she “saw the writing on the wall” after sitting for 10 weeks thanks to a “really, really bad” ankle sprain she suffered while playing with her former National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club team, Houston Dash, in 2017.
“I felt like from that point on I never really had a chance, like I was written off,” Lloyd said. “No matter how well I played in training, no matter how well I played in the game, it was like ‘you’re on the bench and you just need to accept it.'”
“For me, I’m never just going to accept that, especially when I know what I’m capable of,” Lloyd added.
Lloyd was notably and publicly candid regarding her dissatisfaction with her playing time, repeatedly sharing her grievances with the media throughout the USWNT’s 2019 World Cup run. The midfielder-turned-striker never hesitated to speak openly, she said, because she shared those same sentiments directly with then-head coach Jill Ellis.
“I had loads of conversations with Jill,” Lloyd said. “I remember having one in particular where she told me ‘you’ve done it all, you have nothing left to prove’ and I said ‘no, I have a lot to prove.'”
Still, Lloyd said that she was glad to be apart of the squad and was “super happy for my teammates and happy for Megan [Rapinoe], who put the team on her back.”
But when it comes to the future, the Delran, New Jersey, native still sees herself as a major role player for the USWNT. She believes she is deserving of a starting role and hopes the heir to Ellis’ spot in front of the becnh will treat her as such heading into the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.
“I hope a coach comes in that values me, respects me, wants me part of the Olympic plans,” Lloyd said. “There’s no question that my ability is there. I’m able to do it – physically, I’m able to do it.”
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