Carli Lloyd on USWNT: This will be ‘one of the hardest World Cups ever’

(Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Former U.S. women’s national team star Carli Lloyd stopped by the Soccer Girl Problems podcast Friday, and she discussed the current team’s recent Concacaf W Championship win.

While Lloyd admittedly didn’t watch the entirety of the tournament due to living the “road life” over the past three weeks, she did catch a bit of the team – including their group stage match against Mexico. She said the atmosphere brought her back to the team’s 2-1 loss to Mexico in 2010 – their only Concacaf tournament loss to date.

“What I like is, they’re playing in Mexico and it’s a different environment,” she said. “I used to love when we had these qualifying games that were not U.S.-based because it gets you out of your comfort zone. The crowd is obviously not for you.”

Calling the environment “hostile,” Lloyd said she thinks the toughness is good for the team – in particular for the younger players, who gain that international experience.

USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski has conceded that if the World Cup were to start tomorrow, the squad likely would not be ready. But the team still managed a 1-0 win over defending Olympic champion Canada in the Concacaf final even as it dealt with some fluctuation at different positions.

“There’s still a lot of time,” said Lloyd, citing players who are on maternity leave or on the season-ending injuries list. “There’s always gonna be chatter. And I like to say, the more chatter the better because then people are tuning in and people are watching. But I think it’s gonna be interesting. [The tournament] is a year from now. Are people gonna be in form a year from now? What’s the roster gonna look like?

“I don’t think there’s any way to predict any of it. I think it’s exciting and I think the women’s game, especially with the Euros going on right now, is just buzzing. One of the good things about the U.S. is, like the other night, they always find a way to win. But I think this is probably going to be one of the hardest World Cups ever, because they just keep getting better and better. And that’s what you want to see.”

As for Lloyd, she remains content in her retirement and is “enjoying every bit of it.” She’s stepped into an ownership role with NJ/NY Gotham FC, something that she says will continue despite head coach Scott Parkinson’s attempts to bring her back.

“[Gotham coach] Scott [Parkinson] did send me a video the other day and said, ‘Could you come back and play for a season?’ I thought about it for a hot second, and then I was just like, ‘No, sorry,’” she said. “I was intrigued by it because I was like, ‘Oh, this would be so fun,’ and then I was like, ‘Nah, the two-hour commute one way — I’m enjoying my pool this summer.’”