Carli Lloyd

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USWNT’s Lloyd shows human side, including rift with her family

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Carli Lloyd’s voice catches just briefly when she considers whether revealing the emotional scars of a longtime rift with her parents might someday bring her family back together.

It’s an ever-so-slight display off raw emotion from Lloyd, belying her usual no-nonsense exterior.

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“Growing up my family meant the world to me. I would listen to every single thing they said. I would look forward to Christmases and Thanksgivings and just being with them,” Lloyd said. “And then to have this spiral, with not speaking to them, has really saddened me over the years.

“It’s been hard because there have been so many joyous moments in my career and my life and they haven’t been a part of that. So you know, definitely down the road, I’d love for things to work out and get back on track. Maybe this is a great opportunity for it to happen.”

Lloyd divulges that she has been estranged from her family since 2008 in her new memoir, “When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World,” which comes out on Monday.

Although she is intensely private, she says the discord in her family has been part of her journey. She had to be totally honest with her co-author Wayne Coffey.

“I don’t do fake,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press, echoing a theme from the book.

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Lloyd’s rise culminated last year when she scored three goals in the World Cup final over Japan to win soccer’s biggest trophy. She was later named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

But the 34-year-old midfielder’s career was peppered with setbacks. Lloyd was benched before the 2012 London Games by then-coach Pia Sundhage, who liked the combination of Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday. The demotion didn’t last long because Boxx was injured in the opener.

Lloyd started the rest of the way and scored both goals in the gold-medal match against Japan at Wembley Stadium. She’s the only player to score winning goals in consecutive Olympic finals: At the Beijing Games in 2008, she scored in overtime for a 1-0 victory against Brazil.

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By her side for the past 13 years has been James Galanis, her mentor and coach. Lloyd considered quitting the sport after college but her father approached Galanis after a training session and asked him to help his daughter.

Lloyd is fiercely loyal to Galanis, crediting him with making her the athlete she is today. He endearingly refers to her as “Ms. Lloyd” in emails.

She’s also loyal to another friend, goalkeeper Hope Solo.

When Solo was ostracized from the national team during the 2007 World Cup for comments she made following the semifinal loss to Brazil, Lloyd stood by her. Coach Greg Ryan had decided to play Brianna Scurry in goal rather than Solo and the United States lost 4-0. Solo publicly questioned the decision.

“Hope and I weren’t actually close prior to this. We got into a little bit of an argument about a car situation when we were in residency in 2006. With her big personality and my strong personality, our egos clashed,” Lloyd said, laughing. “This 2007 moment, I didn’t like what was happening. … I thought to myself, `This isn’t right.”‘

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Solo has often been a lightning rod for controversy and is currently suspended from the U.S. team for six months after calling Sweden a “bunch of cowards” for their defensive tactics during the Rio Olympics. U.S. Soccer has said the suspension was the culmination of several missteps.

“I’ve tried to wrap my head around the Olympics and just the way that we finished up, and Hope’s comment, and her suspension,” Lloyd said. “It’s weird. It’s weird being in camp without her there, weird sitting on the bus and she’s not across from me.

“I hope that in time after the suspension is over, after she settles down and U.S. soccer settles down, I hope that maybe they can come together and work it out.”

The United States was sent home from Brazil after the 1-1 draw with Sweden was decided by penalty kicks. It was the Americans’ earliest-ever exit from the Olympics after winning three straight gold medals.

For now Lloyd is looking forward to the immediate future. First there’s a book tour. In November she’ll marry high school sweetheart Brian Hollins.

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Ongoing are the collective bargaining agreement talks with U.S. Soccer. The team’s current contract expires at the end of this year.

The players are looking to bring their salaries more in line with those for players on the men’s national team. Lloyd was among five players who drew national attention when they filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging the federation with wage discrimination.

“Things are moving along,” she said about negotiations. “We’ve dealt with this before, where it gets down to the wire. It’s not something to stress out about, it’s the nature of the business. We had a World Cup, we had the Olympics, so things have been pretty busy. But we do have some time before the new year.”

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Beyond that, there’s preparation for the 2019 World Cup in France and the 2020 Games in Japan. Lloyd will be 38 when the next quadrennial wraps up.

“I think the next three years of my journey is really all about enjoying the ride. It’s going to be over in a blink of an eye,” she said about her career. “I owe it to myself, I owe it to James, and all of my support system, to just make the most of it.”

Lloyd, Solo among four USWNT players on first FIFPro Women’s World XI

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FIFPro announced the first-ever Women’s World XI on Thursday, a world all-star team selected by players from across the globe. Four players from the United States team which won the 2015 Women’s World Cup title are on the list.

Carli Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, made the list, along with U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo and defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Julie Johnston.

France was the next-most represented country with three players: defender Wendie Renard, midfielder Amandine Henry and forward Eugenie Le Sommer.

FIFPro, which is the world union for soccer players, created the concept of a Women’s World XI throughout 2015 as women’s players expressed their interest in seeking the same kind of recognition as men get. FIFA and FIFPro have an official World XI for the men which is honored at the annual Ballon d’Or Gala.

“This is a landmark for the women’s game,” FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen said.

FIFPro says that “players of 33 different nationalities spread out over 20 countries participated in this year’s test vote. Players were asked to pick one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards, replicating the same format used in deciding the men’s award.”

“This is a great step forward in terms of equality, respect and recognition for women’s football,” Lloyd said.

“I’d like to thank FIFPro for making this possible. It’s an initiative that will be appreciated by female players all over the world.”

The full list is as follows:

Goalkeeper:

  • Hope Solo (USA, Seattle Reign FC)

Defenders (4):

  • Wendie Renard (France, Lyon)
  • Meghan Klingenberg (USA, Portland Thorns FC)
  • Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada, West Virginia Mountaineers)
  • Julie Johnston (USA, Chicago Red Stars)

Midfielders (3):

  • Carli Lloyd (USA, Houston Dash)
  • Amandine Henry (France, Lyon)
  • Aya Miyama (Japan, Okoyama Yunogo Belle)

Forwards (3):

  • *Celia Sasic (Germany, 1.FFC Frankfurt)
  • Eugenie Le Sommer (France, Lyon)
  • Anja Mittag (Germany, PSG)

*Retired

Voting parties, according to FIFPro:

Four national teams participated: Australia, Cameroon, Finland and Portugal. Australia and Cameroon appeared in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Finals in Canada and reached the final 16.

Participating players from clubs such as Bayern Munich, Chelsea (English champions), Olympique Lyon (French champions), Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League finalists), VfL Wolfsburg (runners-up Germany), FC Rosengard (Swedish champions), Verona, (Italian champions) Atlético Madrid (runners-up Spain), Houston Dash and Portland Thorns.

Lloyd’s second straight hat trick boosts US women past Haiti

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Carli Lloyd is still delivering hat tricks, just on smaller stages than the World Cup final.

Lloyd had her second straight three-goal game to lead the United States to an 8-0 victory over Haiti on Sunday in a friendly.

Lloyd scored all three goals in the first half for her fifth hat trick and second in three days, then sat out the second half. She also made recent appearances ranging from “Hard Knocks” on HBO to ESPN’s “College GameDay Saturday” before the Mississippi-Alabama game.

“It’s been remarkable because she’s not only playing with her club but making all these appearances,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “To put back to back performances with our team- she’s just a great professional. She’s so mentally strong that regardless of the opponent, regardless of the surface, she just takes the same approach. That’s a high standard that she has for herself, and yet she wants to deliver for her teammates.”

Lloyd also had three goals Thursday night in the first game against Haiti, which substituted for the Australian team mired in a labor dispute. She has 16 goals this year, one more than her previous high set in 2012 and matched in 2014.

“It’s all about improvement for me,” Lloyd said. “It’s all about contributing to the team and continuing to fight like an underdog.”

Lloyd has 14 goals in her last eight matches as the Americans continue their Women’s World Cup victory tour that so far has been a series of routs.

The Americans pushed their home unbeaten streak to 100 matches, going to 88-0-12. They haven’t lost at home since falling to Denmark on Nov. 6, 2004, during a post-Olympic celebratory tour.

Tougher competition awaits with a pair of October matches against Brazil in Seattle and Orlando, Florida.

Lloyd scored her third goal on a header in the 39th minute. She had just missed another first-half goal but her shot off a corner kick bounced off the crossbar.

The U.S. has outscored Haiti 42-0 in six meetings.

Crystal Dunn’s goal in the 17th minute was her second in the two games with Haiti, also marking her first two with the U.S. team. Dunn, who led the NWSL with 15 goals for the Washington Spirit, was among the final players cut from the World Cup team.

“I’ve definitely changed a lot about my game the last few months,” said Dunn, who also assisted on Lloyd’s second goal. “It was about development and that’s what I took away from being this close to making it.”

Julie Johnston scored in the first minute to start the barrage. Amy Rodriguez, Alex Morgan and Heather O’Reilly added second-half goals.

It was the Americans’ first match in Birmingham since 2008, a 5-4 victory over Australia when the U.S. scored two own goals and nearly blew a 4-1 lead. The crowd of 35,753 at Legion Field was the largest to see a standalone U.S. women’s game in the Southeast.

The Americans have won nine straight overall since a 0-0 tie against Sweden in the group stage of the World Cup and are unbeaten in 20 matches (17-0-3) since an exhibition loss at France in February.

With a starting lineup that included two 16-year-olds and three 17-year-olds, the Haitians seldom managed to push the ball across midfield. The U.S. had 39 shots, Haiti didn’t have any.

Kelley O’Hara and Megan Rapinoe both had two assists.

Becky Sauerbrunn made her first start for the U.S. as a central midfielder. Her previous 68 starts came as a central defender.