Carli Lloyd retirement: Ranking the top 5 moments of the USA legend's career

Carli Lloyd

Football legend and USA national team star Carli Lloyd has announced her retirement. The versatile forward will hang up her boots after an iconic 22 years in the women’s game. 

With three Olympic medals, two World Cup titles, and countless individual accolades, Lloyd goes down in history as one of the greatest players of all time.

To celebrate her illustrious career, GiveMeSport Women looks at the top five moments from her power era.

#5. Highest paid female footballer

As of March this year, Lloyd is officially the world’s highest-paid female footballer. Money doesn’t play a huge part in the world of women’s football, but as higher transfer fees and wage packets start to become more common, Lloyd can say she was part of the change.

As new signings continue to be made in the highest tiers of women’s football, Lloyd’s name will always be mentioned to measure earnings. It also just goes to show how much of a trailblazer she has been for her country and her domestic clubs over her stellar 22 years in the game.

#4. USA triple centurion

Lloyd boasts a remarkable 312 caps for the USA and has scored 128 times on the international stage.

Carli Lloyd

Earlier this year, she reached the 300-cap mark during a friendly against Sweden. She is just the third player in her nation’s history to record such an achievement, following in the footsteps of legends Kristine Lily and Christie Pearce.

Her senior debut came in 2005 and she has since gone on to establish herself as one the most decorated and recognised internationals in the world.

#3. International history maker

After emerging onto the football scene in 1999, Lloyd has gone on to make history on multiple occasions.

Her back-to-back Olympic final-deciding goals made her the first player, male or female, to mark such an achievement in the history of the Games. Lloyd also became her country’s highest-scoring midfielder at London 2012, overtaking Julie Foudy’s 45-goal record.

Fast forward to the 2015 World Cup, and Lloyd became the first woman to score a hat-trick at a World Cup final. She was also the first footballer since Geoff Hurst in 1966 to do so.

Carli Lloyd

This year alone, Lloyd has made history twice. During a match against Jamaica in June, she marked herself down as the oldest US international to score for her country at aged 38 years and 332 days. She then set a new record once again in Tokyo – surpassing Abby Wambach’s iconic Olympic goal tally to become the new highest goal-scorer from the USA at the Games with 10 goals.

#2. Two-time Olympic gold medallist

Although the USA came third at the Tokyo Olympics, Lloyd was a part of the unbeatable squad that won two consecutive gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

She played bagged herself nine goals and nine assists at Beijing 2008, where she earned her 100th senior cap for the USWNT. Lloyd also netted the winning goal of the tournament to beat Brazil in the final and win gold.

She repeated this incredible feat at London in 2012, scoring both goals in the gold medal match against Japan.

#1. Back-to-back World Cup titles

Perhaps the most prestigious award a player can win with their country is the World Cup. For so many footballers, even just representing their nation on the world stage is enough. Carli Lloyd will retire with four World Cup campaigns under her belt and two titles to top it off.

The forward made her first World Cup appearance back in 2007, where she helped the US finish third overall. From there, the only way was up.

Carli Lloyd and the USWNT

In 2011, the USA finished second, before going on to win back-to-back titles at the 2015 and 2019 tournaments. Lloyd’s efforts in 2015 saw her win the World Cup Golden Ball after she was named the best player of the tournament. 

Lloyd will end her glittering career by finishing off the current National Women’s Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC and will feature in four international friendlies scheduled across September and October. 

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