Carli Lloyd retired last year as one of the most decorated women’s soccer players in the world, but when she steps into the FOX Sports studio for the FIFA men’s World Cup in Qatar later this month, she’ll be in an unfamiliar position.
“I am a rookie. I am, like, straight out of the rookie books,” Lloyd told Hope Solo on the “Hope Solo Speaks” podcast this week. “I don’t have a lot of reps under my belt. But it’s like anything: In order to kind of figure out if you like something, if you’re pretty good at something, you’ve gotta just go for it.
“It’s a great crew that’ll be going over there with FOX Sports — some legends of the game, men and women — so I’m looking forward to that.”
Lloyd first joined FOX Sports in April as a studio analyst for the U.S. women’s national team’s friendly against Uzbekistan. Since then, she has appeared in studio for the network’s broadcast of the USWNT’s 2-1 loss to England at Wembley Stadium in October, sharing her commentary during the pregame, halftime and postgame shows.
The star forward announced her retirement from soccer last August after 17 years with the USWNT, 134 international goals and 316 caps — the second-most in national team history. Lloyd won two World Cups, two Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Player of the Year awards during her storied playing career.
In retirement, she says she’s focused on living in the moment and taking advantage of new opportunities.
“As always, I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and try different things, figure out what things I like, what I don’t like, what I want to continue to pursue,” Lloyd said. “It’s no different than my career. Anything that I’m tackling, I’m giving my best effort, I’m being critical of myself, figuring out ways I can improve, how I can be better.”
While talking about the game comes easily to her, Lloyd said she’s still learning the nuances of live television, such as being clear and concise with her comments in the on-camera “time crunch.” In Qatar for the World Cup, which begins Nov. 20, there’s the added element of analyzing games in the midst of widespread human rights abuses and other controversies, for which FIFA and the host country have come under intense scrutiny.
“It’s a challenging one. There’s a lot of talk about a lot of different topics around this World Cup, and I think the beauty of football is that it brings so many different people together – different cultures, different backgrounds. It unites everybody,” Lloyd said.
“And so my hope is that, despite everything that’s going on and how different this is … it is a beautiful tournament and it’ll be exciting, games will be good.”