Although the opening ceremonies for the Rio Summer Olympics do not take place until Friday, the soccer tournament is already underway. The U.S. women’s national team debuted last night and it only took Rutgers alumna Carli Lloyd just under 9 minutes to put her team ahead against New Zealand.
It was her 7th goal in her Olympics career, and 89th as a member of the U.S. women’s national team. After missing time earlier this year due to a leg injury, she has regained her form very quickly since returning to action on July 1st.
When Lloyd is healthy, she is quite simply the best women’s soccer player in the world at the moment. If she continues to score goals and lead the women’s team to a fourth consecutive gold medal at the Olympics, Lloyd will further cement her legacy as one of the greatest American women’s soccer players ever. She is currently sixth all-time in goals scored, ninth all-time in assists, and eighth all-time in appearances for the national team in her career.
From ESPN’s Graham Hays recap on last night’s victory, he wrote that Carli Lloyd is ageless. Here is what else Hays had to say about her:
Lloyd is effectively the same age in this tournament as Abby Wambach was when the World Cup began a year ago. That was a farewell tour, a role and minutes that had to be delicately managed. Lloyd at 34? Just put her out there for 90 minutes and let her score. She might have more memorable highlights than a looping header to the opposite post, but she put the ball in the net for the fifth game in a row at a major tournament.
The U.S. women’s team went on to defeat New Zealand 2-0, as Alex Morgan added a goal at the start of the second half. They now prepare for an important group match with France on Saturday, August 6th at 4 p.m., which can be seen live on NBCSN. The U.S. is currently ranked #1 in the world, while France is ranked #3, so this will be a true heavyweight matchup early on in group play. Don’t be surprised to see Lloyd shine, as she has proven time and time again throughout her career that the bigger the stage, the better she performs. Good luck to her and the rest of the women’s team on their quest for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
The USWNT beats New Zealand, 2-0, behind goals from Alex Morgan & Carli Lloyd in its opening game at the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/iR8obxuNZZ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 3, 2016
Well done team! NEXT....— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 4, 2016