Carli Lloyd is set to play her final game in a legendary career for the U.S. women’s national soccer team this October before officially retiring from the sport at the end of the current NWSL season.
Lloyd will play four final friendlies with the USWNT, two in September and two in October, to bring an end to her national team career. Then she will return to her NWSL club team NJ/NY Gotham FC to close out the season. The regular season ends on Oct. 30 and the playoffs culminate in the championship game on Nov. 20.
The 39-year-old star will look to add to her tally of 128 international goals in 312 caps for the USWNT. Only Kristine Lilly has more appearances in USWNT history with 354.
Lloyd hinted at retirement following the bronze medal match at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where she became the USWNT’s all-time leading Olympics goal scorer.
“Physically I feel really good but at some point I have to hang up the boots and live life,” she said. “I know my husband is eagerly waiting for me to switch off because it’s been 17 years of just grinding away … The drive over to the game was different.”
A legendary career comes to a close 🇺🇸🐐 @CarliLloyd has announced her retirement. The soon-to-be announced four #USWNT fall friendlies will be her final matches in a U.S. uniform, closing out a remarkable career. She will finish the @NWSL season with @GothamFC.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) August 16, 2021
Lloyd’s message to fans
“When I first started out with the national team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships.” Lloyd said in a statement. “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.
“I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years,” said Lloyd. “I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation.
“To end my career knowing my family was able to be by my side and share this last chapter with me could not have been any more special. We will all have a lot more time to spend together now, and especially with my husband Brian, who has been my rock and biggest support system for all these years. We are both looking forward to starting this next chapter of our lives without my everyday grind of training and playing, but I will most likely need to find another outlet for my competitiveness! Perhaps that will be golf?”
Lloyd’s legendary career
Lloyd’s career is defined not just by her virtually unmatched level of play, but also her incredible longevity as she’s featured for the U.S. in three different decades.
She represented the U.S. at four World Cups and in four Olympic Games while playing under five different U.S. head coaches. In total, Lloyd won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup trophies.
Lloyd’s 128 career goals are fourth all-time in U.S. history and tied for fifth all-time in world history, while her 64 career assists have her sitting sixth all-time for the USWNT.
She earned the World Cup Golden Ball in 2015 as the best player in the tournament, while also being named The Best Women’s Player in 2015.
On the club level, Lloyd has spent the entirety of her career in the U.S., save for a loan spell with Manchester City, proving a huge presence in the growth of the women’s game.
“Through all the goals, the trophies, the medals and the championships won, what I am most proud of is that I’ve been able to stay unapologetically me,” Lloyd said. “My journey has been hard, but I can honestly say I’ve stayed true to myself, to my teammates, my coaches, the media and the fans throughout my entire career and that is what I am most proud of.
“Everyone sees the moments of glory, but I have cherished the work behind the scenes and the adversity that I’ve had to overcome to get to those glorious moments.”