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Is Carli Lloyd now an Olympic lock for USWNT?

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For Carli Llyod, age is but a number.

In the quest for her fourth Olympics, Lloyd has become the oldest-ever USWNT goal scorer at 38 years and 332 days old. Lloyd’s Sunday-night score against Jamaica was also the second-fastest in team history, coming in the 24th second of the game.

After the match, Lloyd said of her milestone goal, “for me it’s just about grinding away, being better.”

Lloyd has certainly been grinding away, quieting critics who question how her age impacts her fitness. The USWNT icon has been churning out solid performances for club and country leading up to Tokyo, netting a crucial goal in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Final while playing for Gotham.

While coach Vlatko Andonovski keeps tabs on club play, Lloyd’s latest tally for the USWNT comes at a critical moment, reminding Andonovski of her goal-scoring capabilities at the international level just before he solidifies the Olympic roster.

Lloyd seemed more like a sure thing before the Olympics were postponed in 2020, filling in for Alex Morgan following the birth of her baby girl. Now, with Morgan back and looking to be in full form, Lloyd’s spot on the packed 18-player-roster has seemed less certain.

Lloyd needed a decisive moment to make her case, and she delivered one with her historic finish on Sunday night. With one game left in the Summer Series, Carli Lloyd’s stock is on the rise, and a spot on Andonovski’s Olympic team appears to be within reach.

If Lloyd does stamp a ticket to Tokyo, it will almost certainly be the 38-year-old’s final major tournament with the national team, providing the USWNT star a fitting end to a storied career.