On Tuesday afternoon, Carli Lloyd sat down with Sports Illustrated for a live Facebook chat to discuss her injury, the Olympics, and her future in general. The co captain of the US Women's National Team and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year is currently dealing with a MCL knee injury. She suffered this injury during a National Women's Soccer League match between Lloyd's team the Houston Dash and the Orlando Pride on April 23, 2016. There was a MRI performed and news came out that Lloyd would be sidelined for 3-6 weeks.
With the summer Olympics in Rio just a few months away, questions were raised as to whether or not the 33 year old would be ready to play. When asked about her injury Lloyd responded "It is getting better, baby steps, it is a waiting game." She mentioned that she knew right away that it was her MCL. She had injured her MCL in the past and she knew that was the problem, although she did not know the severity of the injury "I thought I could just walk it off " she said. The injury happened in the fourth minute of the game and Lloyd continued to play until she was taken out of the game in the thirteenth minute.
Lloyd knows that the whole world is looking on eagerly to make sure she will be able to help lead this Women's team to a gold medal. "I appreciate the support" she said happily. Since coming off of the World Cup win last summer there have been quite a few changes to the team. Three members of the World Cup team have since retired, Abby Wambach, Shannon Box, and Lauren Holiday. Also two members of last years squad are currently pregnant, and will not be active for the Rio Olympics. When asked how much these changes will effect the team Lloyd answered "It's a transition phase, I look at it as another challenge." Up to date no US Women's National Team has ever won gold at the World Cup and went on to win gold in the Olympics . Lloyd and the rest of her team will be looking to change this and continue the streak of excellence that is historically the United State's style.
With the departure of these veteran players there are a few new faces that will step up to help this team try to achieve their fourth straight gold medal at the Olympics. "There are definitely differences" Lloyd said of these roster changes, "We are scoring a lot more goals. We struggled at the World Cup and even prior to that, now with this new group we are putting together a very good brand of soccer."
Carli Lloyd is a passionate player who is always trying to help her team win. Her three goals in the final of the World Cup proves this point, but does she ever take a break? She admitted that this injury could in fact be "a blessing in disguise, to recharge the batteries." She went on to say "Of course I want to be on the field, but at some point you need a rest. I'll be more than ready to go, fitter, stronger, and more importantly mentally ready" going into the Olympics. Lloyd added that she is hoping to continue playing through the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Look for more news on Lloyd and other Rutgers Olympic athletes at On the Banks leading up to this summer's Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.