Former soccer star Carli Lloyd has doubled down on her criticism of the United States women’s national team after its failed World Cup campaign this summer.
Lloyd, who has made no secret of her criticism of the USA following its shock World Cup exit in the last 16 against Sweden, continued her autopsy as she claimed the current squad lacks a championship-winning mentality.
Lloyd, who has transitioned into a broadcasting role after retiring in 2021 following 316 caps for the Star and Stripes, scoring 134 goals from 2005, previously took aim at the USWNT’s sense of entitlement.
And this week, the 41-year-old blasted her former teammates once again as she reiterated her belief that there has been a culture shift within the camp, citing the fact that thermostats were adjusted to individual players’ preferences at hotel rooms in New Zealand as an example.
A two-time World Cup winner herself, Lloyd particularly took issue with players arriving in sunglasses and dancing on the field before kickoff.
Carli Lloyd has doubled down on her criticism of the USWNT following its shock World Cup exit
Lloyd took issue with players arriving in sunglasses (pictured left, Megan Rapinoe)
‘If I saw that, if I was a part of that team, I would raise hell and I would go directly to the players and tell them to take their sunglasses off and stop dancing,’ she said on CBS’s ‘Kickin’ It’.
Lloyd’s comments appeared to reference USA star Megan Rapinoe, who played her last World Cup in summer and retired from soccer last month with her USWNT career coming to an end against South Africa in Chicago.
Rapinoe, who missed a crucial penalty in the USA’s shootout defeat to Sweden, was frequently pictured wearing sunglasses ahead of games at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
The veteran was also seen heading to her final USWNT match with bright reflective sunglasses and a speaker playing her pregame music of choice.
Lloyd claimed those instances suggested some players were ‘taking every moment for granted’ and also questioned their toughness.
‘It has to be hard,’ she added about playing for the national team. ‘I think all these players want to come in, want to feel comfortable, want to express themselves. It doesn’t work like that. Just do your job, come in, put the work in.’
She also claimed Julie Ertz was the sole member of the squad Down Under to possess a winning mentality.
‘The champion mentality that we’ve had throughout the years, since the inception of this team, that dog mentality, you’ve got none of that,’ she said.
Alex Morgan is seen crying as she reacts to her team being knocked out of the tournament
Rapinoe is pictured wearing sunglasses with her USWNT suit with Crystal Dunn (right)
The veteran arrived at Soldier Field ahead of her final USWNT game with a speaker
Rapinoe gave her signature pose one final time at Soldier Field in Chicago as the USA won 2-0
‘The character, the respect — technically, tactically, you could be great and have a coach that comes in, but if you don’t have all those other things, there’s no winning … I look at the U.S. women’s national team, Julie Ertz just left, but aside from her, I don’t see one player that has that mindset.’
Vlatko Andonovski coached the USWNT from late 2019 before he resigned in August following the team’s disappointing World Cup campaign.
Lloyd played under Andonovski in the final two years of her career, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where the USA suffered another unexpected result, being knocked out by Canada in the semifinals.
The former attacking midfielder addressed the head coach’s approach, claiming he wasn’t decisive enough.
‘U.S. Soccer, they’ve kind of gone about this the wrong way,’ she said. ‘Vlatko Andonovski was a nice guy, really nice guy. Just ’cause you’re nice doesn’t mean you’re going to win championships, though. You’ve got to make hard decisions. I look at my last Olympics, we had line changes up top because he couldn’t choose, [out of] all six veteran players, the three that he wanted out there at all times.
‘So what did we do? I play one game, Alex [Morgan] plays the next game. I play another, Alex plays. You can’t do that. You’ve got to be tough. You’ve got to be direct. You’ve got to tell people what they need to hear and they may not like it, but I think the whole mindset needs to be different.’
She also blasted the structure of the national team setup, claiming the youth teams’ struggles are overlooked due to the senior squad’s previous success, resulting in the USA’s next generation falling behind its international counterparts.
Vlatko Andonovski coached the USWNT from late 2019 before he resigned in August
Lloyd previously questioned the players’ attitude after the narrow 0-0 draw against Portugal
‘I think that yes, they’re talented, but are they really that talented? That’s the question,’ she said.
‘I looked at other teams, other players — Linda Caicedo, Colombia, Lauren James, England — the stuff that they’re doing on the ball, it doesn’t really compare to the players and I think that’s going to be the tricky thing with U.S. Soccer … We used to be fit. We used to be mentally tough. Tactically, technically OK, but now you have nothing.’
Lloyd additionally claimed that, even during her own 16-year career, the USA was the ‘most dysfunctional group of players’.
‘Everybody looks at the U.S. women’s national team and they think 23 best friends, everybody gets along,’ she said.
‘No. It’s the most dysfunctional group of players, but the most unbelievable environment to ever be in because you win … It’s unhealthy. It’s the grinding, the having to compete for spots, who’s getting deals and what person’s on a commercial this week. It’s human nature.’