She’s an incredible athlete who embodies the spirit of resilience and determination. Carli Lloyd is often referred to as the best midfielder in the world, but yet many don’t know her name. Still, Lloyd’s story is inspiring and another one that sports puzzle enthusiasts will want to commemorate.
She has faced her fair share of challenges on and off the field, but has always come out on top. Lloyd’s journey is a reminder that success doesn't come overnight and that setbacks and obstacles are a normal part of the journey. But what sets Lloyd apart is her unwavering dedication and perseverance.
Keep reading to discover Lloyd’s journey, from the early years eyeing national stardom to her Olympic career showcasing her hard work and dedication to the game.
Early Days: Carli gets her kicks in young
Lloyd’s early years were based in the small town of Delran, New Jersey. She loved the sport of soccer from the age of five.
However, Lloyd's journey to becoming a world-class soccer player wasn't without its hurdles. In a YouTube interview with Doctor Mike, Lloyd says wasn’t raised with a silver spoon.
“I had to scrounge up balls that I could find. I would have one pair of cleats that I would have to kind of savor for the whole year.”
She has said that she was inspired to play for the US national team after she watched the opening US match of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Iconic player: Lloyd’s rise to soccer fame
Carli Lloyd's rise to fame began with her impressive performances at the youth level, representing the United States at the under-21 level and helping the team win consecutive titles at the Nordic Cup from 2002 to 2005. She made her senior national team debut in 2005 and quickly established herself as a key player, scoring her first international goal in 2006 and starting in every match at the 2006 Algarve Cup.
Lloyd's breakout performance came at the 2007 Algarve Cup, where she scored four goals and was named Most Valuable Player. She carried this momentum into the FIFA Women's World Cup that same year, where she started in every match and helped the U.S. team reach the semifinals.
However, Lloyd's most significant achievement came in 2008, when she played at the Beijing Olympics, her first major international tournament. She started in every match and scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal match against Brazil, helping the U.S. team win the Olympic title. This victory cemented Lloyd's status as a rising star in women's soccer and set the stage for her future successes.
Lloyd’s turning point: 2012 Olympics
Lloyd says the 2012 Olympics was a turning point for her. She had been benched just before the tournament, and I was determined to prove her coach wrong. “I wanted to show her that she had made a mistake by not starting me,” said Lloyd.
She finally got her chance. When one of her teammates got injured just 16 minutes in the first game, Lloyd replaced her on the field.
“And then I went on and never left the field after that,” Lloyd says in the interview.
Her team went on to win the Olympic gold medal for the second time. Lloyd says it was an incredible feeling; a moment when she was able to prove to herself and others that she belonged on that field.
A star is born in Japan
Lloyd's most iconic moment was the 2015 World Cup Final against Japan. She scored a hat-trick in the first 16 minutes of the game, leading the U.S. team to a 5-2 victory. This impressive performance earned her the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player and cemented her status as a legend in women's soccer.
Lloyd's first goal of the game was a penalty kick, which she converted with ease. Her second goal was a stunning long-range strike that caught the Japanese goalkeeper off guard. Her third goal was a perfectly placed header that sealed the win for the U.S. team. Lloyd's hat-trick was not only an impressive individual achievement, but it also helped the U.S. team secure its third World Cup title. Her performance was widely praised by fans and media alike, and she was hailed as a hero and a role model for young girls and women everywhere.
The Big Picture
Carli Lloyd's story is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. From her small-town dreams to her World Cup victory and beyond, Lloyd's journey has been marked by hard work, perseverance, and a refusal to give up in the face of obstacles. She is not a household name so to speak, but her achievements will be forever recognized. Lloyd's success was not the result of a single moment or achievement, but rather the culmination of a series of small victories and setbacks that she pieced together to form a larger picture of success. As Lloyd says: “There were all these little milestones that either had me come tumbling down the mountain really fast and [I] had to pick myself up and go back again.”
Carli Lloyd. Wikipedia.