USWNT Legend Carli Lloyd Announces Retirement; Will Finish NWSL Season with Gotham FC

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2021

United States' Carli Lloyd celebrates scoring her side's 4th goal against Australia in the women's bronze medal soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Kashima, Japon. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato

Carli Lloyd, who's won two World Cup titles and two Olympic gold medals with the United States women's national team, announced Monday her plans to retire from soccer after this fall's international friendlies and the 2021 NWSL season with NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Lloyd released a statement about her decision through U.S. Soccer:

"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. 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."
FIFA Women's World Cup @FIFAWWC

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ FIFA &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/USWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USWNT</a> legend <a href="https://twitter.com/CarliLloyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CarliLloyd</a> has announced her retirement<br><br>πŸ‘ Thank you for inspiring so many young footballers across the globe, Carli<br><br>πŸ† This <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWWC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWWC</a> Final strike will never be forgotten β™Ύ <a href="https://t.co/4XQ9yJwPWy">pic.twitter.com/4XQ9yJwPWy</a>

The 39-year-old New Jersey native was the driving force behind the USWNT's triumph in the 2015 World Cup, winning the Golden Ball as the tournament MVP. She scored a hat trick inside the first 16 minutes of the final against Japan to jump-start a 5-2 victory.

It's part of an impressive 16-year run that's made her one of the most accomplished players in the national team's history, ranking second in appearances (312), fourth in goals (128) and sixth in assists (64).

"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. "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."

The USWNT is scheduled to play four upcoming friendlies, two in September and two in October, but dates and opponents haven't been announced for Lloyd's final matches.

Meanwhile, the Rutgers product has also played for 10 teams at the club level since 1999.

She won the FA Women's Cup during a loan stint with Manchester City in 2017, while the rest of her professional stops have come in the United States. She rejoined Gotham FC in 2018 after previously playing for the club in 2010 when it was known as Sky Blue FC.

Gotham FC currently sits third in the NWSL standings with a 5-6-2 record (21 points). They are eight points behind the Portland Thorns (29) and three points behind the North Carolina Courage (24) with a game in hand on both of those clubs.

The NWSL regular season runs through the end of October followed by the playoffs, with the championship match set for Nov. 20.

Gotham FC's next match is scheduled for Saturday, when they visit Cheney Stadium in Washington to take on the OL Reign.