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Rutgers legend Carli Lloyd announces retirement

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One of the greatest soccer players of all-time runs off into the sunset after outworking and outperforming the competition across the globe for many years.

USA v Canada: Women’s Football Semifinal - Olympics: Day 10 Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

On Monday, Rutgers legend Carli Lloyd announced her retirement from soccer through a press release issued by the United States Women’s Soccer Team. She will play in four fall friendly matches that will soon be announced and serve as a sendoff to Lloyd with the national team. She will also finish the National Women’s Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before officially ending he career.

“When I first started out with the National Team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships.” said Lloyd. “Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long.”

“I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years,” said Lloyd. “I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation.

Lloyd’s unquestioned status as one of the greatest soccer players of all-time, male or female, was cemented throughout her distinguished international career. She has made 312 appearances in a U.S. uniform span over three decades that included four World Cups and four Olympic Games. She helped lead USWNT to two World Cup titles and two Olympic Gold Medals. She scored the game winning goal in both Olympics and her hat trick in the 2015 World Cup Final, including a goal from midfield, will go down as one of the greatest performances in all of soccer history.

She was twice named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year (2008 & 2015) and was twice named the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year (2015 & 2016). The Americans to ever win the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year twice were Lloyd and Mia Hamm (2001 & 2002).

The Delran, New Jersey native is fourth all-time in U.S. history and tied for fifth all-time in world history with 128 career goals. She is sixth all-time in U.S. history with 64 assists. Lloyd has scored the most goals of any midfielder in U.S. history before ultimately transitioning to forward at the end of her career. Her last appearance in an international tournament, Lloyd scored twice, including the game winner, in a 4-3 victory over Australia that clinched the Bronze Medal for the USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics earlier this month. In that performance, she became the top scorer in USA Olympic history with 10 goals. She is third all-time in U.S. history with 10 goals in World Cup play.

A moment that was symbolic of Lloyd’s career came after the semifinal loss to Canada in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when she ran sprints on the field by herself after the game. While Lloyd is immensely talented, she also pushed herself to greatness by sheer will and hard work. It also explains her longevity.

Overall, the USWNT has won 88% of the games in her career with an overall record of 257-187-38. She has scored in 97 of her 312 caps. Her 25 World Cup caps and 22 Olympic caps is the most in USWNT history.

Lloyd’s career resume is even more remarkable when you consider how she only got better as she aged. After scoring 36 international goals from the age of 23 to 30, Lloyd has scored 92 goals since she turned 30 years of age, the most in the history of international soccer. She is also the oldest player ever to lead the USWNT in scoring over the span of one calendar year when she booted 16 goals in 2019 at more than 37 years of age.

“Through all the goals, the trophies, the medals and the championships won, what I am most proud of is that I’ve been able to stay unapologetically me,” said Lloyd. “My journey has been hard, but I can honestly say I’ve stayed true to myself, to my teammates, my coaches, the media and the fans throughout my entire career and that is what I am most proud of. Everyone sees the moments of glory, but I have cherished the work behind the scenes and the adversity that I’ve had to overcome to get to those glorious moments.”

“We’ve basically been like family over the years,” said Lloyd. “The number of days we spend together on the road is more than the time we spend with our own families and significant others. We have been able to share some unbelievable moments together on and off the field, and we’ve also shared some heartbreaking moments. I’m just thankful for both the highs and lows because that’s what has helped us grow as people, players and as a team. I will always be thankful for the friendships I have formed along the way and the fact that I was able to play and compete with the best players in the world.”

After a standout scholastic career, Lloyd excelled on the banks in becoming a a four-time All-Big East Selection and a three-time All-American at Rutgers. She has the most goals and points all-time in program history, as well as the single season record for points. The Scarlet Knights went to the NCAA Tournament twice in her collegiate career, which was just the second and third appearances ever for the program. She was one of the first national recruits from New Jersey to choose to stay home and play for Rutgers. The impact of her decision and developing into one of the best players of all-time was a positive factor in the Scarlet Knights becoming one of the top programs in women’s college soccer. Lloyd was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Fame in 2018.

Aside from her international career with USWNT, Lloyd had played for three teams in the WPS and four teams in the NWSL, both based in America. She also played for Manchester City in 2017.

“To end my career knowing my family was able to be by my side and share this last chapter with me could not have been any more special. We will all have a lot more time to spend together now, and especially with my husband Brian, who has been my rock and biggest support system for all these years. We are both looking forward to starting this next chapter of our lives without my everyday grind of training and playing, but I will most likely need to another outlet for my competitiveness! Perhaps that will be golf?”

Whatever Lloyd does once her soccer career officially ends, there should be no doubt she will do it better and work harder at it than anyone else.