Carli Lloyd should be on South Jersey’s Mount Rushmore of Athletes

by Marc Narducci | Aug 27, 2021
Carli Lloyd should be on South Jersey’s Mount Rushmore of Athletes

 If South Jersey ever had a Mt. Rushmore for athletes, Carli Lloyd should have a place on that mountain. The 2001 Delran graduate recently announced that she is retiring from professional soccer. US Soccer has labeled her perhaps the most impactful big-game player ever to feature for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

That actually may be understating the case.

Lloyd, 39, will play four friendly matches in the fall with the USWNT, two in September and two in October.

She will also complete her National Women’s Soccer League season with the NJ/NY Gotham.

Her mark on the USWNT and the sport of soccer can’t be measured by just statistics, although she has some pretty impressive ones.

Llloyd had 312 caps (appearances) second in U.S. history behond Kristine Lilly (354) and is among four international soccer players to play 300 or more times for her country.

She competed in four World Cups and four Olympics, with 25 World Cup matches and 22 in the Olympics.

Lloyd helped the U.S. earn Olympic gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and scored the winning-goal in the gold medal games both years. She also won two World Cup championships as well.

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Lloyd scored 128 goals with the USWNT, fourth all-time in U.S. history. She also added 64 assists, sixth all-time for the USWNT

Never was the big-game reputation earned more than during the 2015 World Cup, which she led the U.S. to victory. Lloyd scored a hat trick in the deciding 5-2 win over Japan and won the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament.

She was a double-figure goal scorer in both the Olympics and World Cup, scoring 10 in each competition. Her 10 career Olympic goals is a USWNT record.

She was named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the year in 2008 and 2015 and was named FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

South Jersey has produced so many top athletes, but Lloyd’s credentials rank with the greatest of all time, such as Millville’s Mike Trout, Rancocas Valley’s Franco Harris and Willingboro’s Carl Lewis.

Those three, plus Lloyd would be on this reporter’s South Jersey Mount Rushmore list.

In addition to all she accomplished, Lloyd was at the forefront of promoting the sport of soccer. She was a fan favorite of so many and took her responsibility as a role model seriously.

She competed 16 years with the USWNT and at a high level until the end, scoring twice as the U.S. clinched the bronze medal in this year’s Olympics with a 4-3 win over Australia.

Author: Marc Narducci


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