SOCCER TO THE BONE
In Delran, New Jersey, a small town with a blue collar work ethic, Carli Lloyd lived one block from the field. “I played a ton of pickup games – there were a lot of Turkish guys, all ages, and we’d just play for hours. You could play freely and try different things, not having a coach breathing down your neck. I loved it.” And when there wasn’t a game, she’d head out to the field alone, lugging a bag of collected balls. “I was kind of a ball scavenger. I’d go find them in the woods after weekend tournaments.” She’d shoot on goal, go fetch the balls, and start again.
While Lloyd was always a soccer junkie – the kid who always polished her cleats, the one at the field playing for hours, she says she still “had no idea what it took” to get to the next level. Post-college, Lloyd began developing the intense work ethic and commitment to fitness she’s now known for. She remembers the first time she was told to run for fifteen minutes, “I was like, uh? Fifteen minutes straight? I’m thinking, ‘Oh good lord.’ I’d get a side cramp, I’d be totally gassed. Now I go on 90 minute runs no problem. Before, I couldn’t do 15 minutes.”
Her coach would tell her stories of the greats – how Mohammad Ali would train on Christmas morning because he knew no one else was training on Christmas morning, how Bruce Lee would do 10,000 sits up a day. Lloyd took that to heart: “If it’s a holiday, if I am training on Christmas Day, most likely nobody else is – and that gives me the edge. If I’m supposed to run for 20 minutes and I get back and it’s only been 19:34, I’m going to jog in a circle for 26 more seconds. I’m never going to cut it short. I know what it takes now.”
Carli Lloyd has known her fiancé Brian since she was a kid. “I lived on one side of the field, Carli lived on the other,” says Brian. “I’d always see her by herself kicking balls at the field.” While he is primarily a golfer, he played soccer in high school and continues to train with her to this day.
Youth National Teams: A member of four U-21 Nordic Cup championships teams, winning titles in 2002 in Finland, in Denmark in 2003, in Iceland in 2004 and in Sweden in 2005 … Scored three times in the 2005 Nordic Cup, including two against Denmark and one in the championship against Norway … Had two goals and an assist, starting every match, at the 2004 Nordic Cup ... Assisted on the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Denmark in the first round of the 2003 Nordic Cup.
2018: On January 19, 2018, she was acquired by her home state club, Sky Blue in a three-way trade with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash … Houston traded Lloyd and forward Janine Beckie, and the #6 and #24 overall picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Chicago Red Stars for forward Christen Press, an international roster spot and the #7 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft ... The Chicago Red Stars then traded Lloyd, Beckie and forward Jen Hoy, the #6 and #13 overall picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Sky Blue FC for Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton and the #15 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft … With those picks, Sky Blue FC selected defender Amandine Pierre-Louis and goalkeeper Casey Murphy … 2017: Before re-joining the Houston Dash during summer, Lloyd completed a successful Spring season with Manchester City where she helped the club to a second-place finish in the league and to the Women’s FA Cup title while playing almost every minute in 13 matches: four Cup games, four in the Champions League and five in the WSL … She did not score in league play, but tallied in some huge games, scoring two goals in the Champions League, including the crucial game-winner in the first leg of the quarterfinal against Fortuna from Denmark, and in the second leg of the semifinal against Olympique Lyon from France, a 1-0 win that was not enough to overturn Lyon’s 2-1 win in the first leg … Lloyd also scored in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium (where she scored twice in the 2012 Olympic Final) in front of a record crowd of 35,271 as she helped Manchester City lift the trophy with a 4-1 victory against Birmingham City … After returning to the USA, she played 647 minutes in eight games for the Houston Dash but an ankle injury on August 14 against Kansas City sidelined her for the rest of the NWSL season … Before the injury, she scored two goals for the Dash … 2016: Due to injuries and WNT commitments, Lloyd played just 553 minutes in seven games for the Dash, but made the most of that time, scoring five goals with three assists … 2015: Was named to the NWSL Second XI after scoring four goals in 12 matches over 1,080 minutes for the Dash ... Finished third in the league in shots with 56 despite playing just 12 games … Finished the season as the all-time leader in shots in NWSL history with 170 and fifth in shots on goal with 70 and sixth in goals with 20 … 2014: Traded to the Houston Dash on Oct. 16 in exchange for midfielder Becky Edwards, defender Whitney Engen, and a third round pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft … Started all 19 games in which she played for the WNY Flash during the 2014 season … Scored eight goals and had five assists … Named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team … Was third in the league in shots with 61 and sixth in shots on goal with 33 … Led the league in fouls committed with 51 … 2013: Allocated to the Western New York Flash for the 2013 NWSL season and played 1,296 minutes in 15 matches, starting 14 … Missed a few games at the start of the season due to injury, but returned to have an excellent year, scoring eight regular season goals, tied for third in the league with four other players … Scored both goals in the 2-0 playoff semifinal win against Sky Blue FC that sent Western NY to the first NWSL championship game … Finished fifth in the league in shots (53) … 2011: Signed with the Atlanta Beat for the 2011 WPS season, playing 800 minutes in 10 games while starting eight … Scored two goals for the Beat … 2010: Signed with her home state and WPS champion Sky Blue FC during the offseason … Played in just five games for Sky Blue in 2010 after suffering a broken ankle early in the season … Was out almost the entire season but returned to play the last two matches and logged just 200 minutes of action in the second season of WPS … 2009: Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Played in 16 games for the Red Stars, starting 14, and scored two goals with one assist … Missed several games during the middle of the season after suffering a deep gash across her knee during National Team training.
Youth Club: Played for the Medford Strikers club team, winning the 1997 and 1998 State Cups ... Helped lead PDA Galaxy to the 2001 U-23 national title and earned MVP honors … Also trained with the WUSA’s Philadelphia Charge during the summer of 2003.
College: As a senior, she started 18 of the 20 games she played at Rutgers and was named the 2004 Big East Midfielder of the Year … Became the first Scarlet Knight to earn First-Team All-Big East honors four times during her career (2001-04) … Ended her senior season with 10 goals and one assist to finish her career as Rutgers’ all-time leader in points (117) and goals (50) … A three-time NSCAA All-American who was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy … Also ranks first in career shots at Rutgers … As a junior, she started 20 matches and collected 13 goals and two assists for 28 points ... Was an NSCAA Third-Team All-American … Was named a Big East Academic All-Star … As a sophomore, she played in all 20 matches and had 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points to lead the Knights ... Was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy … As a freshman, she started every match for the Knights ... Was named an NSCAA Third-Team All-American ... Named to the All-Freshman Team by Soccer America ... Named the Big East Rookie of the Year, the first RU player to earn the honor ... Led the team with 15 goals and 37 points.
High School : Scored 26 goals and had eight assists as a senior at Delran High School ... Was named the 1999 and 2000 Girls’ High School Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer … Was a two-time selection to the Star-Ledger All-State First Team and was named to the 1999 and 2000 Parade All-America Teams ... Helped lead her team to an 18-3 record in 2000 and a state runner-up finish in Group II ... Was named the Courier Post Player of the Year and the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association (SJSCA) Midfielder of the Year in 2000.