Carli Lloyd has further enhanced her legacy as one of the finest women’s footballers to ever grace the game by playing her 300th international match for the US in a 1-1 draw against Sweden.
The 38-year-old has already written her name into football folklore after helping her National side win two Olympic gold medals, two World Cup’s and twice being named FIFA’s World Player of the Year.
Now, with 300 caps for her country, Lloyd becomes just the third player in history, male or female, to achieve this milestone.
With countless individual accolades and multiple team honours, it’s hard to list all of Lloyd’s achievements.
Nonetheless, we’ve chosen five of her finest moments from throughout her international career to showcase the legacy of a true football icon:
National team debut
Remarkably, Lloyd didn’t make her debut for the US until she was 23-years-old –– coming on as a substitute for Aly Wagner against Ukraine.
The US won the game 7-0 though Lloyd failed to cap off her debut with a dream goal. That moment came a year later against Taiwan at the 2006 Four Nations Tournament, as Lloyd scored the first of her 124 international goals.
It was from this point that the American would be considered a mainstay of the US side. Fast forward 15 years and she is still one of the first names on the team sheet.
By the time the 2008 Olympics arrived, Lloyd had established herself as one of the world’s finest players.
A disappointing World Cup in 2007 had put more pressure on the National team to succeed in Beijing and Lloyd duly stepped up to the task.
After notching the winning goal against Japan in the tournament’s group stage, the US star scored a crucial match-winner in extra-time of the final against Brazil to help her side claim gold.
For her exploits, she was named the 2008 US Soccer Athlete of the Year, having registered nine goals and nine assists across all matches.
2015 World Cup
2015 was a year of unprecedented success for Lloyd. At the World Cup in Canada, she scored six goals and captained the team to victory, as the US beat Japan 5-2 in the final.
In that same game, Lloyd scored a 16-minute hat-trick, with her third strike –– a chip from the halfway line, being hailed by Reuters as “one of the most remarkable goals ever witnessed in a Women’s World Cup.”
This was the first hat-trick by a woman in a World Cup final, with Lloyd later awarded the Golden Ball for her achievements.
Her third goal also saw her nominated for Goal of the Year, while Lloyd herself was named FIFA’s Women’s Player of the Year.
World Cup scoring record
The following World Cup was the same outcome for the US who retained their title in France, following a 2-0 win against the Netherlands in the final.
Though Lloyd didn’t start the final, she scored in her first two games of the tournament –– one against Thailand and two more against Chile.
These goals helped Lloyd become the first player to score in six successive Women’s World Cup games.
With 10 goals in 25 World Cup appearances in total, Lloyd is joint eighth on the list of all-time goalscorers in the competition, seven behind Brazilian born Marta in top spot.
Lloyd played her 300th game for the US in an international friendly against Sweden on Saturday.
It was a less than fitting way to bring up the milestone as Vlatko Andonovski’s side ended their streak of 16 successive wins, being held to a 1-1 draw.
Speaking before the match, however, the US head coach was quick to praise Lloyd for her immeasurable contribution to the team:
“What Carli has done is incredible,” he said. “She’s a living legend for this team and for women’s soccer in general. I’m honoured to be a part of her incredible journey.”
Christie Pearce Rampone and Kristine Lily are the only two others to have reached the same milestone, with Lily’s 354 cap record now firmly in the 38-year-old’s sights.News Now - Sport News