(Image credit: NJ/NY Gotham FC twitter)
United States Women’s National team legend Carli Lloyd has announced her retirement from both international play and the NWSL. Lloyd will play her final games for the USWNT with four friendlies, in September and October of 2021. Her last game for Gotham FC will be at Red Bull Arena on Halloween when the team hosts Racing Louisville FC in their final game of the regular season.
The announcement comes after much speculation for the 39-year old’s future with the team after a bronze medal finish for the Americans in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After that game Lloyd said that she wasn’t certain about whether or not she would retire but admitted she was towards the end of her career.
Lloyd made her international debut in a friendly against Ukraine as a sub on July 10, 2005 for midfielder Aly Wagner in a 6-0 game in Portland. She wouldn’t get her first goal until her second cap when she scored against Taiwan. Her first goal in a major tournament came in the American’s second game of the 2008 Olympics when she scored the only goal of a 1-0 win over Japan.
She will retire with the second most caps of all time only behind Kristine Lily’s 354 and she is one of only four players in women’s soccer history to play 300 times or more for their country. As well, she has started 239 of her 312 (and counting) caps. She finishes her Olympic career with 10 goals in 22 games. Three of those goals came in gold medal games for the Americans. Lloyd is also a two-time winner of the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. Her most memorable performance for the Americans certainly came in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final when she scored a first half hat trick, including chipping the Japanese goalie from midfield on the way to a 5-2 win.
Lloyd clearly has her eyes on another competitive avenue to take up with her professional golfer husband, Brian Hollins as she spoke to USSoccer.com.
“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,” Lloyd said. “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 another outlet for my competitiveness! Perhaps that will be golf?”