After 16 years, US women’s national team legend Carli Lloyd has said goodbye to international football and officially sealed her retirement on Tuesday night with a 6-0 win over South Korea.
The 39-year old served an illustrious career with the USWNT, ranking second for overall appearances with 316 and third in most goals ever scored with 134. She became the first ever American to score in four different Olympic games, and her total of 10 in the event set a new record among U.S. players.
Carli Lloyd has led the USWNT to two consecutive FIFA World Cup trophies, the first ever women’s team to complete the feat.
The forward recently penned an open letter to her fans through The Players Tribune to highlight special moments of her career, detailing that it wasn’t always easy but definitely worth it.
“Every single woman who pulls on that USWNT jersey and represents their country, they have sacrificed things that you wouldn’t imagine. We give our lives over to this game. Personally, I have gone through a lot of tough times. I have witnessed people close to me take advantage of me for their own benefit, I have been brainwashed and manipulated by some, and I even became separated from my family for 12 years — missing out on so many things. I pissed a lot of people off for being true to myself and not following the crowd. For not saying all the right things. I read and heard a lot of really hurtful things. I cried a lot of tears.
"I put off starting a family. I put off having any semblance of a normal life. I gave every ounce of myself to this game for 17 straight years — never ever switching off.
"And you know what? I would do it all again. In an instant.”
Carli Lloyd kicked off her USWNT career in 2005, debuting against Ukraine. She worked tirelessly to become an integral part of the team and reach the 2007 FIFA World Cup, where Lloyd began to cement her name in USWNT history.
In 2016, she saw her efforts rewarded after being named USWNT captain along with Becky Sauerbrunn. Lloyd has featured in every major tournament since then, ending her career with a bronze medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After her last official match with the team on Tuesday night against South Korea, Lloyd confirmed she will forever be a fan of the team.
"I'm excited to see the future of this team. I'm saying goodbye on the field, but I want to continue to help in any way possible," Lloyd said. "I'm going to be the biggest fan, biggest cheerleader, and I want to see this team continue to succeed."