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Q&A With Carli Lloyd: World Cup Prediction, Favorite Goals, Partnership With Symbodi, NFL Attempt

Carli Lloyd celebrating a Team USA goal.

VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States reacts in the first half after scoring a goal against Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

You'll be hard-pressed to tell the story of soccer in the United States without mentioning the contributions of Carli Lloyd. Over the course of a career spanning more than 20 years, she cemented herself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in the entire world. 

The New Jersey native spent over five years playing professional soccer at the local level before getting her first call-up to the USWNT. And within a couple of years, she was one of their top players. 

Between 2005 and 2021, Lloyd was capped 316 times and scored 134 goals with 64 assists - all top five marks in team history. She helped lead the USWNT to two World Cup titles and two Olympic gold medals between 2008 and 2019.

This past year saw Lloyd finally announce her retirement though, but she quickly made her intentions to stay close to the sport clear by joining the ownership group of the NWSL's NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

We caught up with Lloyd to discuss her historic career, her new role as a soccer team owner, her NFL ambitions, the upcoming FIFA World Cup and her new partnership with Symbodi for athletic recovery toys, sleeves and massage devices.

This interview with Carli Lloyd is made possible by Symbodi.

Carli Lloyd celebrates for the USWNT.

United States' forward Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group F football match between USA and Chile, on June 16, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP / Getty Images)

The Spun: You’ve teamed with Symbodi to sponsor their premium massage devices. What made you want to get on board with them now?

Carli Lloyd: I wish the timing was a little bit previous to my retirement and had these guys partnered during my career. Recovery has been an important piece throughout my career, but Symbodi has been awesome because they’re creating revolutionary recovery products. Not just any products - they work and they make sense. 

The Vertiball and Vertiroller - you can basically put on any flat surface and it helps through aches and pains - it works great. There are some spots in my back that are really tough to reach, it’s perfect for that and its compact. So if I’m going on a hike or going somewhere I’ll throw it in my bag, carry-on, suitcase. It’s great to have that personal massage when I don’t have someone personally coming to me.

The Spun: You finished your career with Gotham FC and now you’ll be returning to the team as an owner. What made you want to go into managing a sports team as opposed to any other second career?

Lloyd: For me it just made sense - obviously being a former player there for three seasons, my ties to New Jersey, I just liked how the club was bouncing back from all of the things that had been going on there. We had a rebrand and in my last season I saw a difference, especially in the ownership, and wanted to make things better. As my time was unfolding with the team, I tried to figure out how to stay involved. 

Now it’s about creating buzz around the team, getting butts in the seats. And besides Angel City there hadn’t been any former NWSL players who had taken an ownership role. I’m always looking for more opportunities to push outside the box.

The Spun: Looking back on your career, you reached the highest of high points. But were there any particular low points that you saw as a major turning point in your career?

Lloyd: A ton. In my 17-year career, to continue to push on and stay at the top, get to the top, rise even more, it’s not an easy thing to stay there for a long period of time. There’s good times, there’s bad times. But I would have to say the 2012 Olympics for me was a big turning point because I had just gotten benched - thought my career was over, had no idea what the future looked like. 

I got my opportunity in the first game, 16 minutes in Shannon Boxx went down and couldn’t play, and I had to step in and replace her in the defensive midfield and I was told by all of the coaches that I couldn’t play in that role - which is funny - and I played in that role all the way up until the Final against Japan. 

Then [Boxx] came back in and I got moved into the attacking midfield role. Getting through that situation really helped me believe a lot more in myself and I think that pushed me on to want to go two more cycles instead of one and just have the confidence and belief in myself that I could become the best player in the world. That’s what I wanted to do - that and help the team win as many championships as possible.

So yeah, it was a really tough time but I think it was one of the pivotal moments in my career.

The Spun: You scored somewhere in the area of 200 goals between the club and country level. Which goals in both areas do you think were the most impactful?

Lloyd: I think my midfield goal in the 2015 World Cup (in the Final against Japan) - I haven’t scored a goal like that ever. I don’t know if it’s the best goal I’ve scored, but probably one of the most memorable goals in that particular moment.

Goals are fun. It’s fun scoring goals - some have come at pivotal moments and I’ve scored goals where we still lost the game. I think my ability to have been a goalscorer throughout my life just brought me great joy - being a center midfielder and moving up into a center-forward role, it’s all part of the game and… I don’t know. I can’t pinpoint any other goals. I know there are some highlight reels out there… every goal has some sort of meaning to it. 

What I love most about some of my goals is actually having worked on them in my training. Having a purpose behind my training and seeing it happening in a game that counts to me that’s the special thing.

The Spun: A lot of NFL fans know you as the soccer player who kicked a 55-yard field goal and almost tried out for an NFL team. Do you recall which teams reached out about bringing you in for a tryout and were any willing to offer you a contract?

Lloyd: A couple did - I’m not gonna reveal who did. But that was wild how that happened. It was something I never expected. But I’m competitive, I’m always up for a challenge, I’m always up to push the boundaries and see what happens.

The Spun: Many people consider you among the greatest American soccer players of any gender. Looking back on your career, do you feel you’ve earned that distinction?

Lloyd: At the end of the day I’m proud of what I did throughout my career, how I went about my career. There will always be debates, always be opinions, always be people ranking other people. I never played for that - that’s the beauty of it. I played to win and to be the best possible soccer player I could be. That’s for all others to discuss. I’m proud no matter what.

The Spun: What are your predictions for the World Cup this summer? How do you think the USMNT is going to do?:

Lloyd: I think the US has a great opportunity to get out of their group and if they all bring it and give it their all, play as a team - then the rest will be up to them. I don’t know that we’ve seen the best US yet. I’m excited to see them put it all together in this World Cup. 

It feels off having it in November though - usually it’s in the summertime… so yeah I’m rooting for the men and I’ll try to get over there!


Carli Lloyd has cemented herself as one of the all-time great soccer players and one of the all-time great American athletes. But she's not stepping away from sports just because she isn't playing anymore. 

Between her team ownership, Symbodi partnership and media ventures, she's going to be an ever-present figure in the game of soccer for many years to come.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.