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Carli Lloyd says she ‘hated’ playing with USWNT in recent years

(Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd calls out the U.S. women’s national team’s culture in the first episode of “Hope Solo Speaks,” a new podcast hosted by former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo.

In the episode, which drops Wednesday, Lloyd says her last few years on the team weren’t easy for her personally. The forward retired in November as one of the USWNT’s all-time leaders in caps, goals and assists.

“Even within our squad, the culture has changed,” she said. “It was really tough and challenging to play these last several years. To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in. It was only for love of the game, really, for me. I wanted to win and wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I had ever seen it. So I’m hoping that the future is bright and some things change.”

Ahead of her retirement, Lloyd spoke often about her 17 years on the national team. She said she had “probably been misunderstood by teammates, coaches, fans, just about everyone,” but she was thankful for “every single one of my teammates.”

“I’m going to miss them dearly,” she said before her USWNT farewell game. “And I’m going to be the biggest fan cheering them on for this next cycle.”

She also talked about her excitement for the future of the team.

“I’m saying goodbye on the field, but I want to continue to help in any way possible. I’m going to be the biggest fan, the biggest cheerleader, and I want to see this team continue to succeed.”

Solo, meanwhile, has a checkered past with the U.S. national team. U.S. Soccer terminated her contract in 2016 due to conduct “counter to the organization’s principles.” At the Rio Olympics that year, Solo called members of the Swedish national team “a bunch of cowards” after the USWNT’s shootout loss in the quarterfinals.

Two years earlier, Solo was arrested and charged on two accounts of misdemeanor assault after getting into an altercation with two family members. In 2015, the federation suspended her after her husband, Jerramy Stevens, was charged with a DUI while driving a U.S. Soccer van with Solo in the passenger’s seat.

On the podcast, Solo said that prior to her termination, every time she had to leave for camp, she “didn’t want to be around the culture of the team.”

“I know when I got fired in 2016, every time I left for camp Jerramy, my husband, hated to see me sad,” Solo said. “I didn’t want to go to the culture of the camp. I didn’t want to go to the social aspect of camp.

“I wanted to work my butt off, I wanted to compete, I wanted to play games. But I didn’t want to be around everybody and the culture of the team. It was really difficult. I don’t think people understand how difficult emotionally and mentally that is. It’s tough. I just wanted to be a professional athlete, I wanted to be cutthroat and I wanted to win. But you still have to play the political game and the social game sometimes.”

In August, Solo said current national team star Megan Rapinoe would “bully” her teammates into kneeling for the national anthem.

The decorated USWNT goalkeeper was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s 2022 class in January after missing out during her first two years of eligibility.

The Late Sub Podcast: Can the USWNT Medal?

The USWNT takes a silly face photo during their team Olympic photo shoot
The USWNT will begin their 2024 Olympic medal hunt on Thursday. (Brad Smith/ISI/Getty Images).

This week, JWS podcast host Claire Watkins discusses WNBA All-Star Weekend, which felt both like a celebration of the league's explosive growth over the past year and a way to set Team USA up for a particularly competitive Summer Olympics.

Later, Watkins previews the field for the upcoming Olympic soccer tournament, nominating her personal "Group of Death" and discussing whether or not the new-era USWNT could still reach medal contention despite their current rebuild under new head coach Emma Hayes.

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Team USA, Germany Play Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game in London

Team USA's 5x5 Basketball Team stands for the National Anthem before Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game
Team USA looks to rebound from Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game loss in an exhibition against Germany today. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

USA Basketball's 5x5 team will tip off in an exhibition against Germany in London this afternoon, getting in one last tune-up before the Summer Olympics begin.

The US is hunting an eighth-straight gold medal this year, with group stage play starting on July 29th.

Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to face Germany in pre-Olympic exhibition.
Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to take on Germany in London. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

US to use All-Star loss as fuel

Coming off the weekend's All-Star Game loss, the Olympians are ready to repeat history: They earned their Tokyo gold medal immediately after losing the first Team USA vs. Team WNBA All-Star Game back in 2021.

Breanna Stewart, who led Team USA with a 31-point, 10-rebound double-double on Saturday, said that the defeat "is going to help us tremendously. We don’t get that many game opportunities, [and now] we can go back and watch the film and focus on how we can continue to be better."

Today’s tilt against Germany will see the US work to lock in their defense, particularly in the paint. They'll also lean into their positional versatility before heading to Paris.

WNBA pro Satou Sabally leads Team Germany in today's pre-Olympic exhibition game against Team USA.
WNBA pro Satou Sabally helped Germany to their first-ever Olympic berth. (Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Olympic debutants Germany enter first US clash

The exhibition marks the first-ever US-Germany linkup. The German team will make their Olympic debut in Paris after decades of failing to qualify for major international competitions. Their sixth-place 2023 EuroBasket finish sent them into February’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they punched their ticket to the 2024 Games.

Leading Germany's run was two-time WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally, who put up career-high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals with Dallas last season. Her 20-point, 11-rebound double-double was the difference-maker in Germany's must-win 73-71 Olympic qualifying victory over Brazil.

Other German players to watch include 2022 NY Liberty draft-pick — and Sabally's sister — Nyara Sabally, along with Liberty sharpshooter Leonie Fiebich.

Where to watch the Team USA vs. Germany game

Today’s exhibition tips off at 3 PM ET with live coverage on FS1.

1v1 With Kelley O’Hara: USWNT Star Jaedyn Shaw Is Expecting “Dubs All Around”

retired uswnt star kelley o'hara interviewing san diego wave and uswnt forward jaedyn shaw
'1v1' is back with Jaedyn Shaw joining Kelley O'Hara for a conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics. (Just Women's Sports)

In the latest episode of Just Women's Sports' 1v1 With Kelley O'Hara, San Diego Wave and USWNT star Jaedyn Shaw joins two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Kelley O'Hara for a one-on-one conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics.

We hear from the 19-year-old Wave FC phenom about her first impressions of new USWNT coach Emma Hayes, her experience with international competition at this point in her young career, and how she's preparing to take on the 2024 Summer Games.

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The 91st: Complete USWNT & Olympic Soccer Preview Featuring Jess McDonald

Logo for JWS USWNT Olympic show The 91st
The latest season of JWS' awarding-winning Olympics show 'The 91st' premieres today. (Just Women's Sports)

We're back! Hosts Jordan Angeli, Duda Pavao, and retired USWNT forward Jess McDonald deliver a full preview of this year's Olympic soccer tournament in Paris.

Watch for full analysis of USWNT manager Emma Hayes's coaching style, this team's shifting identity in this new USWNT era, and a projected starting XI for the team's group stage opener against Zambia. The 91st hosts also break down all three Olympic groups — including top players and teams to track throughout the tournament — plus give their predictions for the medal rounds and individual awards.

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