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Not a good idea to bet against Lloyd

Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Soccer

Carli Lloyd has won a lot of things in her long soccer career, including a pair of Olympic gold medals, a World Cup and two FIFA player-of-the-year awards.

Now she's chasing a more modest prize by trying to win back her job on the national team.

A midsummer ankle injury limited Lloyd to eight starts and two goals for the U.S. last year, her lowest totals in eight years. And with regional qualifying for the 2019 World Cup beginning in October, Lloyd began the national team's training camp at StubHub Center with no guarantees she'll be playing in those games.

"I've got to dig deep and cement my starting spot back," Lloyd, the active leader in caps (246), goals (98) and assists (50) for the national team, said Friday. "There's different challenges I've faced every phase of my career. And this is a different one.

"And I know I'll prove that I can be out there."

Don't bet against her. Because if there's anything Lloyd enjoys more than soccer, it's proving her critics wrong.

 

Her hat trick in the 2015 Women's World Cup final, one that wowed a U.S.-record TV audience of more than 27 million? That came hours after her personal coach, James Galanis, showed her a magazine story that omitted her from a list of the tournament's top 30 players.

Three years earlier, after making her anger known over starting the London Olympics on the bench, Lloyd scored both goals in the gold-medal game, becoming the first player, male or female, to score the winning goal in consecutive Olympic finals.

Lloyd not only relishes the doubters, she actively eggs them on.

"I'm sure there's people out there saying I'm too old," said Lloyd, at 35 the oldest player on the U.S. roster. "What more can I contribute to the team? But in my eyes I have a lot left to contribute. And I'm going to prove that.

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