Carli Lloyd has become synonymous with the USWNT. After making her first Olympic debut in 2008 and winning Gold then, she has gone on to feature in two more, earning another Gold medal in 2012. 13 years later, she’s just as hungry for another Gold and views stepping on to that spot on the podium as something that could be the biggest accomplishment of her career.
At this point in her career and in preparation for these Olympic games, Carli Lloyd looked to tweak her training schedule and find little changes that could make the difference between making or not making the roster, but also being able to perform for the team when called upon. In her search to do so, Lloyd partnered up with Gone Rogue Snacks who produce high protein snacks. In particular, Lloyd favours their newly introduced Natural All-Turkey Bites which she has added to her nutritional diet ahead of the Olympics. By focusing on adding a high protein snack to her diet, Lloyd feels like she has elevated her training and physical work, which fits well with what her new strength and conditioning routine asks of her.
All of these minor things, small changes to how she trains, her ball work, etc are geared towards winning Gold later this summer. In fact, winning that Gold medal this year would top a lot of moments for Carli Lloyd, maybe even the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
“There are a lot of reasons why this would top a lot of moments. Where I am in life right now, what I had to overcome from 2020 on and the ups and downs of life. It would be the best feeling in the entirety of my career.”
As with any roster announcement, like the one we all witnessed a few days ago, that listed Lloyd in the 18-player roster, there will be those that she has trained with at club and country, who will not be involved with the USWNT this time around. It’s a part of what makes the announcements provide such highs for some and lows for others. Lloyd knows that it’s a difficult thing to accept and get over, and has reached out to those who didn’t make the cut, such as Margaret (Midge) Purce, her NJ/NY Gotham FC teammate. Lloyd had asked Purce to keep her posted about her call with USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski so she was aware of when Purce was told she would not make the team.
“I told her that she’s done incredibly well, improved as a player, worked hard but she should use this to push herself, motivate her even more.” Lloyd then added that she feels that this isn’t the end for Purce and she just needs to keep playing well. Her time will come.
“I love (Midge) Purce, love what she’s about and want to see her keep pushing to make herself better and better.”
If anyone knows what the power of determination and motivation can do in a career, Lloyd does and her ability to perform under extreme pressure is something many players could learn from.
“Preparation.” Lloyd responds when asked about what it is that makes her stand up and stand out on the biggest of stages. “If you’re not prepared, you can’t do it.” Lloyd went on to talk about how she has prepared, given everything she has, to be ready physically and mentally in those moments that she has shone brightest for the USWNT.
“Look at Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan. It’s a whole other level of focus and it comes down to a mindset, an extra level of being locked in and dialed in.”
Lloyd has applied that kind of mentality throughout her career and when the pressure is really on, has found the ability to “rev it up several notches”, producing performances that are still talked about to this day.
Those big moments have always come with fans in the stadium but this time around, no fans may be allowed to watch the Olympic games in Tokyo due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s definitely going to play a role. It will be different. You have to be able to adapt to any situation and as a team, we can’t worry about whether or not fans will be allowed and if they will be quiet or loud once they get there. We have to focus on the game and focus on winning.”
Despite that, the recent USWNT games in Austin, Texas were a joy for Lloyd and the rest of the team. “We loved having fans and you feed off of it. Cheering or booing. It makes it that much more exciting.”
Any player will tell you the same thing when it comes to fans. They make the experience that much more fulfilling and if possible to do so safely, I’m sure a lot of teams would prefer to have fans at the stadiums than not have any at all. They are what makes football the best sport in the world. As for Lloyd, her focus now zooms in on accomplishing what could be the best feeling in the entirety of her career. Winning a Gold medal in Tokyo, Japan.