Steven Hauschka Says He'll Help Carli Lloyd Land NFL Kicking Job: It Can Be Done

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2019

Baltimore Ravens' Sam Koch holds the ball for United States soccer player Carli Lloyd as she attempts to kick a field goal after the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Ravens held a joint NFL football practice in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

If United States women's national soccer team star Carli Lloyd wants any guidance in her pursuit of playing in the NFLBuffalo Bills kicker Steven Hauschka is available.

Hauschka, a former college soccer player, offered LLoyd his support Thursday night, per ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques:

"I saw the way she kicked that ball, and she's obviously got a lot of talent. It feels close to my heart because when I was 18, 19 years old, I was a soccer player, and I had a dream of kicking footballs just for my Division III college team. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity, and I had a coach that showed me how to do it.

"If it's something she really wants to do, not only will I help her out—if she wants it—but I hope she goes for it. I do think it's possible to kick well in this league as a female. It's a very mental position. It's physical, it's technical, and I think it could be done eventually."

Lloyd, a two-time World Cup champ, drilled a 55-yard field goal at Philadelphia Eagles training camp:

Per NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman, she received "offers from at least two NFL teams to potentially kick in their preseason games on Thursday." However, she had to pass because of USWNT obligations (friendly against Portugal).

Once she has some time to dedicate herself to the craft, she intends to make a run at the NFL. Lloyd acknowledged, though, that making the transition from women's soccer to football would not come without its challenges, per Bergman:

"Look, there's no denying that. I know that there's some challenges involved with this, and I know that there's probably some players and people and everybody around the globe thinking this is the craziest thing.

"But then I also see it from the one perspective of maybe this is kind of something that's going to break down some barriers and give people, women especially, the confidence to know that maybe they can be a part of any NFL team as a kicker.

"I mean, I'm not trying to be a running back or a quarterback; that would be an epic fail. But I do know that I could kick a ball pretty well, and I pride myself in my technique, and really it's all about getting it up and over. I know that there's loads of people that are saying, you know, big men coming at you."

Hauschka, meanwhile, has proved it's possible for a soccer player to make a successful late transition to football. He did not play football until his sophomore season of college, and now he is set to enter his 12th NFL season.

He is an 86.4 percent kicker for his career.

"It's definitely different. The thing I think that'll be tough for her is just game experience," Hauschka said, per Louis-Jacques. "There's a lot of things that you've got to learn over the course of [a career], and it's hard to learn that stuff at the NFL level because there's not room for error."

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