There’s an anecdote from the 2015 World Cup: Carli Lloyd apparently asked her family not to come to Canada to watch her play.
“I don’t bring my family into work,” she said at the time. “We train every four years for this moment. They’re fine watching it on TV. They know my deal and they fully support me.”
At the time it seemed like another typical oh Carli thing; her hyperfocus and work ethic are the stuff of fable and myth. Her fiance, Brian Hollins, wasn’t invited either as part of her need to be able to focus on just the tournament. Everyone copes with pressure in different ways, after all.
But now with the release of an excerpt in Sports Illustrated from her upcoming memoir, the request takes on a new, sadder aspect as Lloyd reveals she’s currently estranged from her parents.
The excerpt describes how Lloyd drifted further and further from her father as she became more independent and embraced the tutelage of her personal soccer coach, James Galanis. Her father is shown as someone who is unable to accept that he no longer controls his daughter’s footballing future. Things came to a head in 2008 as Lloyd prepared for the Olympics, as detailed by Lloyd below:
One night when I am out, I call home and my father answers. He starts right in on me. I don’t want to hear it.
“You never want to hear it,” he says. “Why don’t you get your stuff out of the house or I will throw it out the window?” I can’t believe it has reached this point. But true to stubborn form, I don’t back down.
“If that’s how you want it, fine,” I say.
I walk in the house and head straight upstairs. This is the saddest day of my life. I begin packing up all my belongings. My mother and sister come into my room and we all start crying. I am overwhelmed. I can’t even believe this is happening.
When I’m finally finished it is almost midnight. I head to Brian’s mom’s house, weeping as I drive. It feels so final, so crushing. I’ve lived my whole life in that house. And now my own family doesn’t want me anymore.
Lloyd goes on to say the night she won FIFA World Player of the Year in 2015 after that hat trick, she shared it with Galanis and her fiance, Brian Hollins. She did not share it with her parents.
Lloyd isn’t the first USWNT player to release a memoir; Hope Solo and Abby Wambach both have published memoirs in recent years. Wambach is currently on her own book tour, talking about the alcohol and prescription drug abuse she admitted to and the end of her marriage. Solo’s memoir detailed her turbulent childhood and fraught family life. It should be abundantly clear by now that regardless of what fans see on the field, players all have their own detailed personal lives that aren’t always immediately apparent.
When Nobody was Watching will be released September 26.