US Women Football legend, Carli Lloyd has announced her decision to retire from football in Autumn 2021.
Lloyd is USA’s second most capped senior player in world football with 128 international goals in 312 caps to her name, having guided the Americans to the last two FIFA Women World Cup titles in 2015 & 19 as well as two Olympic gold medals in 2008 & 12 respectively.
USA will play four friendly matches across September and October which will serve as Lloyd’s final four international matches, whilst she will continue to play for Gotham FC until end of NWSL season when she will conclude her club career.
Speaking on her decision to retire from football, Lloyd revealed that when she first began her international career with the senior team in 2005, her “two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships.”
The 39 year-old went on to add: “Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long.”
Lloyd also paid tribute to US Soccer for “helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime” after winning 21 of her 22 titles with the US Women National Team (USWNT) alongside Bronze at 2020 Olympics, of which she feels “forever grateful” to have represented her country for 16 years.
Looking ahead to the future, Lloyd will spend more time with her family but has vowed to “continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation.”
Paying tribute to her family, Lloyd described the chance to end her career with them by her side as “special” and praised her golfing husband – Brian Hollins as “my rock and biggest support system for all these years.”
Lloyd added that she might take up golf as a way of providing an “outlet for my competitiveness.”
Having played under five different USWNT Head Coaches, Lloyd praised all five managed for their contributions which “all helped me into the player I have become over the years,” whilst creating amazing memories on a “special and rewarding” journey.
Lloyd also acknowledged her teammates past and present as “like family over the years,” after spending so long together on the road more than with own loved ones, even though they encountered “some unbelievable moments together on and off the field, and we’ve also shared some heartbreaking moments.”
Current USWNT Head Coach, Vlatko Andonovski meanwhile paid tribute to Lloyd, describing her career as “unique” and her success as the standard for all current and future players to “aspire to achieve.”
Lloyd’s only club title came during a loan spell at Manchester City as she helped the Citizens win the 2016-17 Women’s FA Cup, as well as reach the semi-finals of that season’s Women’s Champions League where they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Lyon despite Lloyd’s second leg winner.
City tweeted their congratulations to Lloyd on her ‘incredible career’ and wished her well for her retirement.
An incredible career! 👏 Wishing you all the best in your retirement, @CarliLloyd 💙
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 16, 2021