After 316 caps and four Olympics, Carli Lloyd retires

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Carli Lloyd didn’t score in her final game for the United States, but it hardly mattered. The night was all about her.

Fans chanted Lloyd’s name before Tuesday night’s match, a 6-0 U.S. rout of South Korea, with one holding a sign that read: “One More World Cup, Please?”

Lloyd is retiring after a career that includes two World Cup titles and a pair of Olympic gold medals. Her crowning moment was scoring three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the U.S. victory over Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.

“It’s been emotional. But there’s just a sense of peace and contentment that I feel — it’s just joy and happiness,” Lloyd said. “It’s been an amazing journey and I gave it all I had, and now I can walk away into the next chapter.”

Lloyd’s final match was her 316th with the national team, the second-most international appearances of any player. She scored 134 goals for the United States, third most in team history, along with 61 assists.

Lloyd was subbed out in the 65th minute and sobbed as she left to a standing ovation by the crowd of 18,115 at Allianz Field. She removed her cleats and pulled off her jersey, revealing another jersey with her married name, Hollins, emblazoned on the back.

“Somebody said that Carli is the U.S. women’s national team. She’s brave. She’s relentless. She’s determined, intense and just doesn’t take no for an answer,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She just pushes through and finds a way. So I think that she’s a great representative of what this team is all about.”

Lloyd, 39, had hinted she was nearing the end of her career before the Tokyo Olympics. The United States won the bronze medal this summer, with Lloyd scoring a pair of goals in a 4-3 victory over Australia. She announced plans to retire shortly thereafter.

She became the first American to score in four different Olympics, and her 10 goals in the event are the most for a U.S. player.

Following the team’s 0-0 draw last week against South Korea in Kansas City, Kansas, Lloyd passed her No. 10 jersey to Lindsey Horan, who will wear the number starting in 2022.

Lloyd made her first appearance with the national team in 2005.

At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Lloyd scored in a 1-0 overtime victory over Brazil for the gold medal. Four years later, she scored both goals in the gold-medal match against Japan at Wembley Stadium, becoming the only player to score winning goals in consecutive Olympic finals.

Lloyd’s career reached its high point with her hat trick in the World Cup final. Her third goal against Japan was a blistering strike from midfield.

“The way I feel now is literally the happiest I’ve ever been,” Lloyd said. “And I think having a really tough career and really having to dig deep, the end feeling has been the most rewarding.”

A New Jersey native, Lloyd has also played at the club level for some 12 years, spanning stints in the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league and the National Women’s Soccer League. She will finish off her pro season with the NWSL’s Gotham FC, which has two games left in the regular season.

Against South Korea on Tuesday, Horan put the United States in front in the ninth minute with a goal that deflected off an opposing player. It was her 24th career goal.

An own goal put the Americans up 2-0 just before halftime.

Alex Morgan, who replaced Lloyd, scored in the 69th minute to make it 3-0. Megan Rapinoe added a goal in the 85th and Rose Lavelle scored in the 89th. Lynn Williams capped the scoring in stoppage time. The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak on home soil to 62 matches.

“I’m excited to see the future of this team. I’m saying goodbye on the field, but I want to continue to help in any way possible,” Lloyd said. “I’m going to be the biggest fan, biggest cheerleader, and I want to see this team continue to succeed.”

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Snowboarders sue coach, USOPC in assault, harassment case

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Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher has filed a lawsuit accusing former snowboard coach Peter Foley of sexually assaulting, harassing and intimidating members of his team for years, while the organizations overseeing the team did nothing to stop it.

Fletcher is a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday. One names Foley, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team and its former CEO, Tiger Shaw, as defendants. Another, filed by a former employee of USSS, names Foley, Shaw and the ski federation as defendants.

One of the lawsuits, which also accuse the defendants of sex trafficking, harassment, and covering up repeated acts of sexual assault and misconduct, allege Foley snuck into bed and sexually assaulted Fletcher, then shortly after she won her bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, approached her “and said he still remembered ‘how she was breathing,’ referring to the first time he assaulted her.”

The lawsuits describe Foley as fostering a depraved travel squad of snowboarders, in which male coaches shared beds with female athletes, crude jokes about sexual conquests were frequently shared and coaches frequently commented to the female athletes about their weight and body types.

“Male coaches, including Foley, would slap female athletes’ butts when they finished their races, even though the coaches would not similarly slap the butts of male athletes,” the lawsuit said. “Physical assault did not stop with slapping butts. Notably, a female athlete once spilled barbeque sauce on her chest while eating and a male coach approached her and licked it off her chest without warning or her consent.”

The USOPC and USSS knew of Foley’s behavior but did nothing to stop it, the lawsuit said. It depicted Foley as an all-powerful coach who could make and break athletes’ careers on the basis of how they got along off the mountain.

Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Jacobs has previously said allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley are false.

In a statement, the USOPC said it had not seen the complaint and couldn’t comment on specific details but that “we take every allegation of abuse very seriously.”

“The USOPC is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Team USA athletes, and we are taking every step to identify, report, and eliminate abuse in our community,” the statement said.

It wasn’t until the Olympics in Beijing last year that allegations about Foley’s behavior and the culture on the snowboarding team started to emerge.

Allegations posted on Instagram by former team member Callan Chythlook-Sifsof — who, along with former team member Erin O’Malley, is a plaintiff along with Fletcher — led to Foley’s removal from the team, which he was still coaching when the games began.

That posting triggered more allegations in reporting by ESPN and spawned an AP report about how the case was handled between USSS and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which is ultimately responsible for investigating cases involving sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has had Foley on temporary suspension since March 18, 2022.

The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they have granted permission or spoken publicly, as Fletcher, Chythlook-Sifsof and O’Malley have done through a lawyer.

USSS said it was made aware of the allegations against Foley on Feb 6, 2022, and reported them to the SafeSport center.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” USSS said in a statement. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages to be determined in a jury trial.

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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