U.S. soccer legend Carli Lloyd announces retirement

U.S. forward Carli Lloyd (10) slides on the turf after scoring in the first minute against Jamaica during the first half of their 2021 WNT Summer Series soccer match, Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) (Michael Wyke, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Carli Lloyd has had one of the most storied careers in soccer history.

That career will be coming to a close.

Through a press release sent out Monday by the U.S. Women’s National Team, Lloyd has announced her retirement.

The retirement will take place after four more friendlies representing Team USA, as well as finishing out her NWSL season with NJ/NY Gotham FC.

“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,” Lloyd said in Monday’s media release. “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.”

Lloyd, 39, spent 2015-17 with the Houston Dash, but her legacy on the sport goes way beyond Houston or the NWSL. Lloyd scored three goals in roughly 15 minutes in the 2015 World Cup final, of which she won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. She won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. She scored the winning goals for those Olympic gold medals. FIFA has twice named her the best women’s soccer player in the world. Lloyd represented Team USA in three different decades, appeared in over 300 international games, and is the highest scoring U.S. midfielder of all time.

“Carli Lloyd is a true legend,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski in Monday’s media release. “Her career was unique, and her success on the field is something all current and future National Team players should aspire to achieve. The way she approached her everyday training and career as a professional is truly impressive and I’ve been honored to coach her.”

“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.”

Lloyd ends her career as USA’s all-time leading Olympic goal scorer with 10. She also finishes as the third-leading U.S. goal scorer in World Cup play behind only Abby Wambach and Michelle Akers.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!