On the My Sporting Mind podcast with Charlie Webster, USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd says she plans to retire after the 2021 Olympics. As reported by The Telegraph, Lloyd said on the podcast that she wants to make the Olympic squad, then perhaps hedged her bets by saying “I’ll probably get a little taste of retirement.” Lloyd is 38 and currently has 294 caps for the United States, and has already played in three Olympics in Beijing, London, and Rio.
Lloyd is currently out while she rehabs a knee injury she sustained in training with Sky Blue FC, an injury which prevented her from playing in the Challenge Cup or the current NWSL fall series. It was a particular blow for Sky Blue, who had relied heavily on Lloyd in 2019, when she scored eight goals in 14 games. The club is currently finding its stride in midfield without her, though, and who knows where 2021 will find both club and international soccer. While this gives Lloyd plenty of cushion on her rehab timeline, it also probably adds a sense of urgency to finding ways to get match fit ahead of any kind of WNT selection process.
There’s an air of I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it with this tidbit from Lloyd, who has gone through several rounds of underperformance, only to surge exactly when her team needs her the most. Lloyd is a big-game difference maker who can still hit her attacking midfield role like a ton of bricks at 38, and based on multiple previous statements about taking care of her body and feeling fit, if Lloyd still feels fine ahead of the 2023 World Cup she may yet take a stab at making the roster while approaching 41.