Carli Lloyd was already bidding to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player in history at the Tokyo Games before the postponement to 2021. The deferral won’t change that hope, but the big question is whether that would be the 37-year-old legend’s final tournament, should she make the 18-player roster.
“I was going to take it to this summer’s Olympics and then see where I was mentally and physically,” Lloyd said Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I wasn’t sure when I would officially retire. So now I have the opportunity to stick around for another year, and it would be a dream come true to win gold with my teammates.
“That would be satisfying enough for me to officially retire.”
Lloyd was asked straight up about retirement in January and said, “No end in sight, as of yet.”
She actually predicted back in 2015 that the Tokyo Games would ideally be the end point. Since, she started every match at the Rio Olympics as a captain (U.S. lost in penalties in the quarterfinals to Sweden). Then she was primarily a reserve at the 2019 World Cup (the U.S. repeated as champion).
New coach Vlatko Andonovski put Lloyd in the starting lineup for the crucial match of Olympic qualifying in January and two of the three matches of the SheBelieves Cup earlier this month.
Complicating matters: Fellow forward Alex Morgan was absent from both competitions due to pregnancy, and with the Olympic postponement, will have around a year to return from childbirth in her bid to make the team.
Andonovski and U.S. Soccer have tough decisions ahead since the Olympic roster is five fewer players than at the World Cup. Everything is on hold now, though.
“This is bigger than sports. It’s bigger than an Olympics,” Lloyd said of the Olympic postponement in a video interview with an ABC affiliate. “I think it was definitely the right call. Disappointed … but I think for the safety of everybody, it’s definitely the best thing.”
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