Saturday, October 23, 2021

Carli Lloyd scores 5 goals to start USWNT Farewell Tour

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CLEVELAND – No Carli Lloyd isn’t reconsidering her retirement after five-goal games.

Lloyd achieved a career-high Thursday night’s goal in the US national team’s 9-0 round of Paraguay. The 39-year-old forward has just three more games with the team before he walks out of the game.

“Maybe for a split second,” Lloyd said when asked if she wanted to stick around with this kind of performance. “And then I go back to reality.”

Lloyd scored a pair of goals in the opening five minutes, then added his third and fourth before halftime as United took a 6-0 lead. He added his final goal in the 61st.

Lloyd has scored 133 international goals in 313 appearances with the national team. She surpassed Christine Lilly in third place on the career list.

“He’s a great legend, just being on the field, he’s a threat no matter where we play, when we play, where we play,” said American coach Wlatko Andonovsky. “Her mentality is something that is unseen. She is just hungry to score, just hungry to be better, and it doesn’t matter whether we play for a medal or play Paraguay. She wants to score.”

Lloyd’s scoring explosion was reminiscent of the 2015 World Cup final, when he scored three goals in the first 16 minutes against Japan. She announced that she plans to retire from football after the team’s four matches post-Olympics.

“That was fun,” he said of the match. “I don’t know, I’m just trying to taste it because I want the time to slow down a bit, because there’s one game down and I have three left.”

It was the first five-goal game of Lloyd’s career. She has nine career hat-tricks, one less than Mia Hamm.

The five goals match the American record for singles games, a milestone recently achieved by Alex Morgan against Thailand during the 2019 World Cup. No player has hit a six.

“I wish I could do this forever, but all good things eventually come to an end and I’m sure to retire,” Lloyd said. “I’m not going to come back from retirement, but you know I’m going to be the biggest cheerleader for this team and really excited they keep crushing it.”

Andy Sullivan scored the 25th, before Lynn Williams blasted it from a distance in the 30th to make it 4–0.

Sullivan added a second goal at the start of the second half before Lloyd’s fifth goal. Tobin Heath scored the final goal in the 86th.

The United States is in the middle of a four-match tour after the Olympics. The Americans won the bronze medal in Tokyo, which was somewhat disappointing for the defending World Cup champions.

It is the first time that the United States has faced Paraguay, which has never played in the Olympics or the World Cup.

Paraguay lost 7–0 to Japan in April. It was the team’s only previous match this year when three scheduled games against Colombia were canceled due to the coronavirus.

Forward Kristen Press was not with the national team as she is taking time off to focus on her mental health. Alyssa Naher, Julie Ertz, Sam Mavis and Megan Rapinoe were not on the roster due to injury.

The United States plays Paraguay again on Tuesday in Cincinnati. The team is scheduled to host South Korea twice next month before a possible road trip to Australia in November.

Nation World News Desk
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