Carli Lloyd On Playing For USWNT In Recent Years: ‘It Wasn’t Fun’

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In the moments before the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team took the pitch against Australia in the 2020 Summer Olympics this past August, forward Carli Lloyd stuck out.

Lloyd, one of the most decorated USWNT members of all time, stood during the National Anthem as the rest of her teammates kneeled. And during an appearance on the SiriusXM podcast “Hope Solo Speaks” with her former teammate, Lloyd went off on the culture surrounding the team the last several years.

“Even within our squad, the culture has changed,” Lloyd said. “It was really tough and challenging to be playing these last seven years. To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in. It was only for love of the game, really, for me. I wanted to win and I wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I’ve ever seen it.

“I’m hoping that the future is bright and some things change.”

Lloyd, who recently retired, was one of the longest tenured members of the USWNT, earning her first cap in 2005. She was a vital piece to the Olympic Gold Medal winning teams of 2008 and 2012, as well as the World Cup winning teams of 2015 and 2019.

But as the USWNT dominated the rest of the world in competition, the culture of the team shifted, according to Lloyd. Solo, goalkeeper for many of those years before she was fired from the team in 2016, agreed and said that she could relate to Lloyd’s feelings about the eroding culture.

Playing for the USWNT became more difficult for Solo, who said she found it hard to play the social and political game.

“When I got fired in 2016 … every time I left for camp, my husband Jerramy [Stevens] hated to see me sad,” Solo said. “I didn’t want to go to the social aspect of camp. I wanted to train my ass off. I wanted to work my butt off. I wanted to play games. But I didn’t want to be around everybody and the culture of the team. It was really difficult. I don’t think people understand how difficult emotionally and mentally that is.

“It’s tough. I just wanted to be a professional athlete. I wanted to be cutthroat and I wanted to win. But you still have to play the political and social game sometimes. That’s hard for an introvert like myself. It was really difficult.”

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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