Carli Lloyd says US Soccer, USWNT need more ‘honest’ voices

(Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd isn’t opposed to the possibility of running for US Soccer’s athletes’ council, she tells former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The two former USWNT teammates spoke together on the first episode of “Hope Solo Speaks,” a new podcast hosted by Solo in partnership with SiriusXM.

After discussing what they perceived as a decline in the USWNT’s culture over recent years, which Lloyd says she “hated,” Solo brings up the possibility of Lloyd running for the Athletes’ Council. While Lloyd says she hadn’t thought about it, she isn’t closed off to the possibility.

“I think it’s probably definitely something I should consider,” she said. “I just think that there just needs to be voices that are honest and not just, ‘I’m gonna go with the flow’ type of thing. You need to ruffle some feathers.

“I’ve gone about my career being the most authentic version of myself that I can be. And that is what I’ve always stood by and provided people. What you see is what you get. But people should be able to make their own individual decisions and not be swayed from somebody or something.”

Made up of 20 current and former players who are elected by their peers, the council is meant to “provide a broader means of communication” between athletes and the federation. The council’s votes also count for 20 percent of electoral votes for various elections, including the upcoming election for President of U.S. Soccer on March 5.

Currently, the council consists of Danielle Slaton Albers, Nicole Barnhart, Smith Hunter, Ali Krieger, Lori Lindsey, Alex Morgan, Brianna Pinto, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lindsay Tarpley, Yael Averbuch West, Megan Wharton and Lynn Williams.

Solo also talks with Lloyd about her own run for US Soccer President in 2016, a campaign she undertook after the federation terminated her contract 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.

On her podcast, Solo specifically calls out the “politics” that exists between the federation and the Athletes’ Council.

“I just couldn’t believe the politics that went on,” she said. “And I saw it firsthand when I ran for President of U.S. Soccer. I don’t think that part is going to change. Votes are bought. Players are bought.”

Solo says that she would be “so happy” to see someone like Lloyd on the athletes’ council who “is willing to have a conversation.”

“It’s really saddened me to see people on Athletes’ Council, former teammates, just be happy to be there,” Solo said. “Not show up to the election to vote – that’s your job is to show up to the election to vote. They are just a lot of times there to say that they’re on Athletes’ Council.”