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Carli Lloyd bids farewell to USWNT as a new era begins

With 65 minutes into Tuesday night’s U.S. National Team game against South Korea, an era of American football has come to an end.

When Carli Lloyd entered the national team, she played alongside 1999 World Cup winners like Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry and Christine Pearce Rampone.

When she debuted in her 316th and final USWNT selection on Tuesday, Lloyd was joined on the pitch by Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario – players who were not even born when the USWNT memorably won the World Cup. home world.

The past and the future met at Allianz Field in St. Paul as fans had the chance to say goodbye to a legend while getting a taste of what to expect.

Among the many remarkable stats that Lloyd has amassed throughout her career, it’s hard to ignore a more recent one that shows her incredible longevity: She leaves as the leader of the USWNT in terms of goals. and assists in 2021 at the age of 39.

Lloyd hasn’t been able to add to her 11 international goals this year or 134 career goals, but she still came close twice on Tuesday, and throughout the night the crowd of St. Paul wanted her while showing his appreciation. for all his achievements.

“To feel the love and support from so many people, I’m incredibly kind,” Lloyd said after the game. “Tonight was one of the best career fences I could have asked for. The crowd was incredible. The stadium was amazing and it was just electrifying.

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The game ended 6-0 in favor of the United States and featured some brilliant late-game goals, but there was only one moment in the game that will be remembered well after the kickoff. final whistle.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Lloyd was taken out of the game and replaced by longtime teammate Alex Morgan. Lloyd removed his jersey to reveal another jersey with the No.10 – this one bearing the name ‘Hollins’ instead of Lloyd as a tribute to her husband Brian Hollins, who was in attendance.

“My husband had no idea,” Lloyd said. “He said I had tears in my eyes.

“He supported me every step of the way. He didn’t complain once and I couldn’t have made this trip without him. So leaving the pitch one last time with the Lloyd jersey on your back and then becoming Hollins, I think that’s kind of a tribute to the next chapter. This chapter is going to be about Brian and me and I think it’s really special.

As Lloyd ended his career, it was hard to avoid the feeling that there was a changing of the guard going on on the pitch. After a disappointing Olympic performance this summer, a host of new faces will undoubtedly come into the picture in future camps.

As the The USWNT Twitter account said, the squad roster was “Carli & The Kids” – youngsters like Macario, Smith and Mallory Pugh joining Lloyd in attack.

“We have incredible talent that comes through the mix,” Lloyd said. “And tonight you got to see what I think is really exciting and at some point the changing of the guard will be very soon.”

But the future can wait. On Tuesday, the focus was entirely on the present and the past, as one of football’s all-time greats ended his singular 17-year international career.

“It was one of the most special nights I have ever had in my life,” said Lloyd.

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