Carli Lloyd On USWNT: ‘I Was The Only One Brave Enough To Say How It Is’

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Former USWNT star Carli Lloyd has not been shy about her feelings towards the current iteration of the team.

After the team’s extremely poor performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Lloyd spoke out about an “entitlement” culture within the team.


Unsurprisingly, she received criticism and pushback for daring to criticize the team led by Megan Rapinoe, a progressive activist who also plays soccer. She spoke to The Athletic recently to explain herself further, and why she felt confident the USWNT wouldn’t win the World Cup.

“This wasn’t anything that was scripted,” Lloyd explained to The Athletic. “This was a reaction to what I was seeing, what I was feeling, what came from my heart. I poured my heart and soul into this team for 17 years. I came into (the USWNT) not understanding how hard you have to work and learned how hard from the players that had come before me who instilled that mentality and DNA within the team.

“So I think maybe I was the only one brave enough to say it how it is,” she continued. “I’ve always been somebody that is blunt, that’s honest, that maybe comes across to the media as being selfish, arrogant, all these words that I’ve heard about me. And that’s been pretty wild to hear because it’s really not true. I think there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and I just saw this team go in a direction where the values that were built and instilled in this team is not what was displayed out at this World Cup.”

Carli Lloyd
Forward Carli Lloyd after a match between Korea and the United States on Oct 21, 2021 in Kansas City, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters via Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd’s Valid Criticisms Of USWNT

Initially, it seemed like Lloyd’s critiques of the USWNT were a bit overblown. But as the tournament progressed, it became rapidly apparent that she had identified a real problem within the team.

She said the blowback she received initially is because she “spoke the truth.”

“I did speak the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts,” Lloyd said. “But it came from my heart. The world has caught up. I get that. But there’s no reason why we still can’t be at the top. But we have regressed so far down that there really is no gap. That’s what’s hard to swallow because the team has been built on legacies that have been passed down from generation to generation, and I simply didn’t like what I saw.”

In retrospect, it’s clear she had correctly assessed that the coaching and leadership with this group was lacking.

Megan Rapinoe has herself admitted that her proudest achievements were off the field. If that’s the mentality of the team’s undisputed leader heading into the most important global competition, how can they effectively guide younger players?

Lloyd had previously detailed a lack of respect and appreciation among the players. Given the results, it’s obvious that her “truth” was right on the money. It’s just too bad no one listened to her before it was too late.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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