US women's soccer players lacked confidence, says Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd blasts the USWNT again, as the Fox Sports analyst and ex-teammate claims the American players lacked confidence, proper training, and fitness after shock World Cup exit

  • Lloyd was speaking at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Sydney 
  • A two-time World Cup winner, Lloyd has been highly critical of the team’s effort 
  • provides all the latest international sports news

Carli Lloyd’s ongoing autopsy of the United States women’s soccer team continued on Saturday with the Fox Sports analyst condemning her former teammates over their dedication, fitness, and self-confidence.

‘I mean, I just looked at that team, and you didn’t see the confidence,’ said Lloyd, a two-time World Cup winner, at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention. ‘You didn’t see the aura, in any interviews in any postgame remarks that we’ve generally had over the last several decades, where you just feel like the players are confident.

‘So I think from a development standpoint, from a technical standpoint, from a tactical standpoint, I didn’t think this team was fit,’ she added,’ as quoted by The Athletic.

The US’ hopes for a third-straight World Cup victory were dashed by Sweden in a penalty shootout in the round of 16. While the defense was respectable throughout the group stage and again against the Swedes, the Americans’ offense struggled in the tournament, scoring just four goals in four games.

To Lloyd, the issues start at the youth level and go all the way up to the national team coaching staff. US Soccer and head coach Vlatko Andonovski parted ways after the tournament.

Carli Lloyd (left) and Paralympian Ellie Cole speak at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention

Former US captain Megan Rapinoe appears dejected after losing in the round of 16 to Sweden

‘I think developing players at the youth level, mentally being able to persevere. I think you saw a group of players that maybe needed to be taught a little bit more about adversity or have a coach that could motivate, that could allow them to believe in themselves.’

Another issue, according to Lloyd, has been training.

Although she admits she hasn’t been with the team since her retirement a few years ago, Lloyd’s last memories of training with the USWNT aren’t good ones.

‘[We] were very easy and barely competitive and barely training,’ she said. ‘I can’t speak to how they were in the last year and a half and I wasn’t there, but it’s everything.’

Alex Morgan is seen crying as she reacts to her team being knocked out of the tournament

There are other issues as well facing soccer in America.

Namely, the NWSL fails to prepare the US women to play against European tactics in the World Cup.

‘I just think that we’re seeing these leagues around the world really put pressure on the NWSL,’ Lloyd continued. ‘Because I firmly believe the NWSL is one of the best leagues in the world from a transitional standpoint. From a tactical standpoint, not up there yet. From a tactical standpoint, probably not up there that much.

‘So it’s going to be interesting and you’re not seeing a lot of players coming overseas into the NWSL whether that is the pay structure, the caps, all of that.’

Lloyd’s criticism of the Americans’ performance at the ongoing Women’s World Cup has drawn the ire of her former teammate, US captain Lindsey Horan.

Lloyd delivered a searing critique of the US women after their 0-0 draw with Portugal in the group stage. The Americans may have advanced to the knockout stage with the tie, but their performance was uninspiring, as Lloyd noted while slamming players for dancing on the field after the game.

Horan weighed in the next day, calling the comments ‘frustrating for me to hear.’

Horan (left) and Lloyd (right) are former teammates after years together with the USWNT 

‘Especially knowing this team and how much we put into every single game,’ Horan told reporters during a news conference. ‘I always want to defend my team and say like, you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, you have no idea every single angle, every single training, like what we’re doing individually, collectively, et cetera.’

Horan took particular issue with Lloyd’s comments questioning players’ motivation.

‘In this game, you can’t question that we didn’t want to win the game,’ Horan said.

‘You can’t question we weren’t working as hard as we possibly could. We know we could have done better.’

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