Carli Lloyd earns final USWNT call-up

Carli Lloyd has been called up to the U.S. women’s national team camp for the last time. 

The NJ/NY Gotham FC player will join 20 other players for a pair of friendlies against South Korea to mark the end of her illustrious USWNT career after she announced her retirement in September. 

Lloyd will finish with 316 caps for the American side, the second-most in U.S. history after Kristine Lilly, who recorded 354. The NWSL star also walks away having recorded the third-most goals with 134, behind Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. 

“I think throughout the course of my career – I’ve just been this, you know, tough as nails, iced out Carli. And I haven’t shown much emotion throughout my career, I’ve just been flipping the chapters, one chapter after the next getting ready preparing, and I’ve now reached the last chapter.

“I’m just literally saving savoring every moment I’m out on the pitch, whether it’s a training field whether it’s grinding away doing stuff on my own, with my team. Just, just trying to soak it all in because I know once, once that final whistle comes, and I walk off the field for the last time. It’s going to be extremely hard,” she said in September. 

“But I am ready. And I think that that’s the beauty and kind of, you know, getting to this next step is knowing I gave it everything I had. I have no regrets.”

She will travel to camp one final time on October 18 to commence what is being called the ‘Carli Lloyd farewell tour’.

Though the USWNT has reaffirmed their commitment to celebrating Lloyd, her goodbye comes at a turbulent time in women’s football. Over the past couple of weeks, allegations of sexual coercion and emotional abuse by several NWSL staff members have been brought to light, most notable the accusations against former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley. 

As a result, league commissioner Lisa Baird, Paul Riley and former Washington Spirit head coach Richie Burke have all left their positions in the NWSL. 

“It’s been a stressful few weeks for the players and staff and the well-being of our players has and always will come first,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement. “We always want to keep improving and evolving as a team, win every game we play, and put on a good show for the fans, but during this camp we will really focus on a few basic things – continuing to support each other while getting to do what we love on the field, and of course, giving Carli Lloyd the send-off she deserves.”

Lloyd will be joined by 16 bronze medalists from this summer’s Olympics, with the expectation of Christen Press and Crystal Dunn, who have opted out of the matches. 

Full U.S. squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Kansas City)

DEFENDERS: Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)

MIDFIELDERS: Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Catarina Macario (Lyon), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

FORWARDS: Tobin Heath (Arsenal), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)