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Carli Lloyd: USWNT needs ‘fresh start’ with next coaching hire

Former USWNT star Carli Lloyd was critical of the team's direction during the 2023 World Cup. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Carli Lloyd wants to see a “fresh start” for the U.S. women’s national team under its next head coach.

In the wake of Vlatko Andonovski’s resignation, former USWNT coach Jill Ellis pointed to Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson as a strong candidate to replace him. Gustavsson has history with the USWNT, having served as an assistant coach under Ellis on the 2015 and 2019 World Cup-winning teams. He also just led the Matildas to their best-ever finish at a World Cup, with the opportunity to clinch third place Saturday against Sweden.

But Lloyd, who played for the USWNT from 2005 until 2021 and has been a vocal critic of the team since her retirement, isn’t buying Gustavsson as the next coach.

“IMO they need a clean fresh start,” she wrote on Twitter. “Someone who hasn’t been part of the program. Wouldn’t be wise to recycle coaches. Too much history.”

She also said Gustavsson got “tactically out coached” by England’s Sarina Wiegman in the semifinals. With England’s 3-1 win over Australia, the Lionesses will face Spain at 6 a.m. ET Sunday in the World Cup final.

“We are seeing a final with two technically sound teams,” Lloyd said. “Tactics are important but the technical side of the game is proving to be very important in this World Cup.”

And while Ellis offered Gustavsson as a possible candidate, the former USWNT head coach also noted that the search should be both “robust” and “diverse” — including in terms of the gender of the coaching candidates.

“There’s certainly good female coaches out there,” she told reporters at a FIFA technical briefing Thursday in Sydney. “So what I would hope in this process is it’s robust, it’s diverse, but at the end of the day, this is a critical hire … and I think it has to be the right person.”