In the 65th minute of Tuesday night’s game for the United States national team against South Korea, an era of American football came to an end.
When Carli Lloyd entered the national team, she played alongside 1999 World Cup champions Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry and Christine Pearce Rampone.
When he started Tuesday in his 316th and final USWNT cap, Lloyd was joined on the field by Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario, players who weren’t even born when the USWNT memorably lifted the World Cup at home.
Past and future intersected at Allianz Field in St. Paul when fans had a chance to say goodbye to a legend while also getting a taste of what’s to come.
Among the many remarkable statistics that Lloyd has accumulated throughout her career, it’s hard to ignore a more recent one that shows her incredible longevity: she is leaving as the USWNT leader in goals. and attends in 2021 at the age of 39.
Lloyd couldn’t add to her 11 international goals this year or her 134 career goals, yet she was still close a couple of times Tuesday, and all night long, the crowd in St. Paul lusted after her as she demonstrated. your thanks. for all your achievements.
“To feel the love and support of so many people, I am incredibly kind,” Lloyd said after the game. “Tonight was one of the best race closings I could have asked for. The crowd was amazing. The stadium was amazing and it was just electrifying. “
The match ended 6-0 in favor of the USA and featured some brilliant late goals, but there was only one moment in the game that will be remembered long after the final whistle.
With 65 minutes left, Lloyd was pulled out of the game and replaced by her teammate Alex Morgan. Lloyd took off his shirt to reveal another shirt with the number 10, this one with the name “Hollins” in place of Lloyd in tribute to her husband Brian Hollins, who was present.
“My husband had no idea,” Lloyd said. “He said I made him cry.
“He has been supporting me every step of the way. He hasn’t complained once and couldn’t have made this trip without him. So leaving the field one last time with Lloyd’s jersey on my back and then leaving as Hollins, I think it’s kind of a tribute to the next chapter. This chapter will be about Brian and me and I think that’s really special. “
When Lloyd finished his career, it was hard to avoid the feeling that a changing of the guard was taking place on the field. After a disappointing Olympic performance this summer, a host of new faces will undoubtedly enter the scene at upcoming camps.
As the The USWNT Twitter account said, the team’s lineup was “Carli & The Kids” – youngsters like Macario, Smith and Mallory Pugh joined Lloyd in the attack.
“We have incredible talent that comes from the mix,” Lloyd said. “And tonight you got to see what I think is really exciting and at some point, the changing of the guard will be very soon.”
But the future can wait. On Tuesday, attention turned entirely to the present and the past, as one of the game’s all-time greats ended his unique 17-year international career.
“This was one of the most special nights I have ever had in my life,” said Lloyd.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.