Carli Lloyd doesn’t believe any current player on the U.S. women’s national team roster possesses a championship mentality.
In an interview with “Kickin’ It” on CBS Sports, Lloyd, 41, spoke about her time with the national team, but she also addressed the current state of the team – as she has done often since her retirement in 2021.
Her latest critiques echoed those she has made before, both in the immediate aftermath of her retirement and in her role as a broadcast analyst for the 2023 World Cup. Her biggest gripes revolve around the mentality of the players rather than analysis of their play.
While such analysis could have a place, Lloyd wields it against the USWNT players, some of whom are her former teammates. Lloyd, though, sees even her harshest criticism as an “honest assessment,” sans “fluff.”
One of her honest assessments? There is “so much fundamentally wrong” with the USWNT program, and a fix will require more than a new head coach coming in and switching up the team’s tactics, she told CBS Sports.
“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. “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.”
She later conceded that World Cup co-captain Lindsey Horan displays a similar mentality. Still, she said, there’s “not many of them that can.” For Lloyd, that reflects a stark contrast from her time on the team, when “a plethora” of players had that determination.
And Lloyd also doesn’t care how people respond when she does speak her truth, or so she claims.
“I lived and breathed it like I feel comfortable and confident to be able to sit here, to be able to be on TV and and say what I said, because I walked the walk,” she said. “I did it every single day from start to finish for 17 years straight. Whether I was a starter or whether I was, at one point in 2019 World Cup for a period of three years I was a sub, so it didn’t matter. I thought that that was my obligation from the previous generation of players to continue to pass that down.”
In reference to the 2023 World Cup, Lloyd called out U.S. Soccer for adjusting the hotel room thermostats to players’ desired temperature levels before they arrived. She also once again took issue with the players for wearing sunglasses and dancing before matches.
“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.
To her, those actions were a sign of players “taking every moment for granted,” rather than getting loose or remaining steadfast in one of the biggest moments of their careers. Instead, Lloyd questioned their toughness.
“It has to be hard,” she said about playing for the USWNT. “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.”