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One year later, USWNT great Carli Lloyd reflects on retirement

(David Berding/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd took a look back on her career one year after retiring from the U.S. women’s national team.

“One year ago, I walked off the field for the last time representing my country,” she wrote Wednesday in a social media post. “As I have had the time to finally reflect on my journey, I have realized so much more about the lessons I learned.

“I wore a mask of a singular tunnel vision focus of grit, determination, resiliency and hunger to do whatever was needed to win and be the best. That mask was the only thing the world saw.”

While Lloyd acknowledged the high points of her success on the field, she called the sacrifices needed to reach that level “incredibly hard” and sometimes lonely.

“The highs don’t last long as you’ll have to chase something else and the lows bring out every emotion possible,” she continued. “It’s a constant battle that never ends.”

The 40-year-old reaffirmed her decision to retire when she did.

“While I don’t miss playing, I’ll always love soccer,” she wrote.

Back in March, she called the USWNT’s culture “toxic” following the 2015 World Cup and said she “hated” playing for the team in recent years.

In the lead-up to retirement and in the time since then, Lloyd has spoken often about her 17 years on the national team. While she has “probably been misunderstood” by “just about everyone,” she said in March, she is thankful for “every single one of my teammates.”

“I’m going to miss them dearly,” she said before her farewell game with USWNT. “And I’m going to be the biggest fan cheering them on for this next cycle.”

In her retirement, Lloyd joined Gotham FC’s ownership group which has now grown to include Sue Bird and Eli Manning. She’s also begun to serve as a USWNT studio analyst on Fox Sports.

She said in her post Thursday that all of the pressures of soccer “prepared me for a life after soccer.”

“It taught me how strong I am,” she wrote. “It taught me that living an authentic life is better than living a fake one. It taught me to not fear anything that comes my way. And I think most of all, it taught me to enjoy the moment and the process. It’s a beautiful thing to live one moment in time.”