Carli Lloyd: Golf Clap Celebration vs. Chile Was a 'Statement' to Critics

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

United States' Carli Lloyd, center, celebrates with Lindsey Horan and Tierna Davidson, right, after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between the United States and Chile at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Carli Lloyd took time Sunday to send a message to critics of Team USA's celebrations during their first Women's World Cup match against Thailand. 

After scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Chile, Lloyd told reporters her golf clap following the first goal in the 11th minute was a statement to anyone who didn't like what the team did in its previous win. 

"I can't take credit for it," she said. "I'm not sure if Lindsey [Horan] is taking credit for it. She had told me if we score, that's what we're going to do so I just went along with it after I did my little celebration. But it was fun. I think it made a statement on the sideline there. It was cool."

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

WHAT A GOAL FROM CARLI LLOYD! 💪🇺🇸 Dream start for the USA! https://t.co/txYUkQTCTN

Horan admitted the team "decided to do something different today" and that the "golf clap was part of it."

Following America's 13-0 rout against Thailand—the largest margin of victory in Women's World Cup history—the team received criticism for what was perceived as excessive celebrating during a blowout. 

Clare Rustad @ClareRustad

The USWNT displayed poor sportsmanship excessively celebrating many of the 13 goals against a 34th ranked team. It has nothing to do with the final score. You are one of the best teams in the world. Act like it. And yeah, I definitely would have said the same about a men’s team.

Sean Kent @seankent

The only criticism I have about the #USWNT and the 13-0 score, is some of the later goals were celebrated too . After it’s 6-0 you stop doing choreographed dances and such. #USATHA

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

0.0 problem with the score line as this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame. #USWNT #FIFAWWC https://t.co/XfGh2e2Jms

Lost in the talk of Team USA's celebrations was Alex Morgan going over to comfortThailand's Miranda Nild, who was crying, on the field immediately after the game ended. 

Hopefully, the controversy involving celebrations won't end up being the defining story for this year's American team. The squad is chasing its second consecutive World Cup title, which is a feat only Germany has accomplished (2003 and 2007). 

Sunday's victory put Team USA into the knockout round. The women will close out group play Thursday against Sweden.