Jill Ellis’ United States Women’s National Team defeated Portugal 3-0 on Tuesday at the Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota courtesy of an emphatic brace from Carli Lloyd inside of 32 minutes and an 83rd minute goal from Lindsey Horan to seal a milestone win for Ellis; the USWNT’s victory against Portugal this week signified the accomplished 52-year-old Englishwoman’s 105th game at the helm for the Stars and Stripes since being appointed as USWNT Head Coach in May 2014.
The 37-year-old Lloyd, who triumphantly experienced back-to-back FIFA World Cup titles this summer in France courtesy of the ever-dominant USWNT defeating The Netherlands 2-0 in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final courtesy of goals from Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe, has won 284 caps and netted an astounding 117 goals for the USWNT since her senior international debut in 2005.
Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medallist (2008 and 2012) with the USWNT, as well as a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner (2015 and 2019), two-time FIFA Player of the Year (2015 and 2016) and a three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, and 2016) scored the decisive gold-medal winning goals for the USWNT in the pivotal gold medal matches at both the Beijing 2008 Olympics and London 2012 Olympics.
The highly decorated 37-year-old superstar, enshrined in the New Jersey Hall of Fame, most recently made headlines when Lloyd was reportedly offered a job as a kicker by an undisclosed NFL team in the 2019 pre-season. Furthermore, Lloyd became the first-ever player to score a hat-trick in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in the United States commanding 5-2 win against Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
In addition, the USWNT superstar became the second professional player to ever score a hat-trick in any senior FIFA World Cup final, after the legendary Geoff Hurst scored three goals in England’s triumphantly well-documented 4-2 win against West Germany in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Throughout Lloyd’s trophy laden professional career, the accomplished USWNT midfielder has received the prestigious Golden Ball Trophy as the best player of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament and additionally earned the Silver Boot for her six goals and one assist during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.
The USWNT sensation, who has appeared in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019) in her successful career currently has the all-time third-most goals (117) and seventh-most assists (53) for the USWNT in history. Lloyd is also third in the USWNT’s all-time caps leaders with 284; Kristine Lilly leads with 354 with Christie Rampone second (311).
Lloyd’s personal accolades includes: winning the Algarve Cup Most Valuable Player award (2007), U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year (2008), FIFA World Player of the Year Shortlist (2012, 2015, 2016), FIFA Puskás Award Nominee (2015), CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year (2015), CONCACAF Goal of the Year (2015), FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball (2015), FIFA Women’s World Cup Silver Boot (2015), FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team (2015), FIFA Women’s World Cup Dream Team (2015), FIFA Women’s World Cup Goal of the Tournament (2015), Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year Team Sport Award (2015), Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Nominee (2015), IFFHS World’s Best Woman Playmaker (2015), FIFA World Player of the Year (2015), FIFPro: FIFA FIFPro World XI (2015, 2016), Nominee for 2016 ESPY Award for Best Championship Performance, the Best FIFA Women’s Player (2016) and as an Inductee into the honorific New Jersey Hall of Fame (2017).
Moreover, with the insatiably title hungry United States Women’s National Team, Lloyd’s glittering resume boasts: Algarve Cup winner (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015), CONCACAF Women’s Champion (2014, 2018), CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament member (2008, 2012, 2016), Olympic Gold Medallist (Beijing 2008, London 2012), FIFA Women’s World Cup winner (2015, 2019), FIFA Women’s World Cup Runner-up (2011), SheBelieves Cup winner (2016, 2018) and a Tournament of Nations champion (2018). Lloyd has also won the FA Women’s Cup with Manchester City (2016–17).
FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta briefly caught up with two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and USWNT superstar, Carli Lloyd, to briefly discuss her health and fitness training regime, the fundamental importance of sports science, coupled alongside Lloyd sharing her savvy advice on how to maintain peak performances as a world class professional athlete.
Dean Perretta: Carli, can you touch on the intense physical and mental demands regarding your daily health and fitness training and, of course, the recovery duration of your body post-training, particularly prior to a game?
Carli Lloyd: Daily I am on a mission to improve. The goal is to be better than the day before. Depending on the time of the year and what events I am currently playing in, I change up my training load to compliment my game and allow continuous growth. If it’s the off season, I train a lot harder than when in season. Post training and games, I am a big fan of ice baths and using food to help my body recover for the next session or game.
Dean Perretta: How important is it to fully listen to body signals and monitor any sensations during fitness training to avoid potential injuries?
Carli Lloyd: It’s huge. I have learned, as I’ve gotten older to listen to my body even more. Tightness, discomfort and pain are all signals that shouldn’t be ignored. Your body is trying to alert you that there is an issue and as an athlete you need to make sure that you address the reasons behind these signals.
Dean Perretta: What has been the most vital piece of advice that you’ve received from your personal trainer with respect to cardiovascular and core strength training?
Carli Lloyd: My trainer James Galanis of Universal Soccer Academy made it clear from the beginning that playing a game with low cardiovascular levels is like being in a car race with a small amount of fuel. He (Galanis) has always preached that your core is the nucleus of your physical performance and the springs behind your explosiveness.
Dean Perretta: With regards to technical training sessions on the field, can you share the routine drills which are undertaken and ultimately the high level of expectations which you and your fitness trainer place upon yourself to maintain high level peak performances?
Carli Lloyd: To assure I am able to perform at a high level and continue to improve, we do have core drills that are designed to help me stay technically sharp and James (Galanis) has continuously designed new drills to push me out of my comfort zone.
Dean Perretta: Lastly, excellent retention and intense focus is a crucial element for both pre-game training and matches. However, can you touch on the importance of fitness in mind, notably Mental Health Awareness from the perspective of a player?
Carli Lloyd: I have been very fortunate to have a mind guru in my corner. James (Galanis) has taught me the importance of the mental strength and made me realize 16 years ago that without a strong and healthy mind you will never reach your potential. It all starts with understanding the importance of the mind and then training the mind to focus during practices and games and then analyzing afterwards, the same way we analyze our skills and tactical decisions during a game. We should also analyze the mindset and emotions that we carried during the game and make adjustments to assure that as pressure situations arise you are able to raise your level of play with them.