Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Carli Lloyd

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Never before has the awarding of the Player of the Week been so easy.

The US Women won the World Cup on Sunday night on the back of Carli Lloyd’s first-half hat-trick. Carli Lloyd is from Delran. Done.

But to say that alone would be to grossly undersell just how good and how important Carli Lloyd has been in recent days. She also scored the winning goals in the quarters and semis, versus China and Germany, respectively. As Charles Beohm put it on MLSSoccer.com: “Right here and right now, she sure looks like the greatest big-game performer—of any age or gender—in US soccer history.” During the final, after the US had torn apart Japan in just 16 minutes, some patriot had changed Lloyd’s Wikipedia page to say that her playing position was President of the United States. Seems about right, honestly.

So much about the coverage surrounding this World Cup has been grim. They had to play on turf. Those socks. Abby Wambach is past it. Jill Ellis is in over her head. The team can’t score. But that wasn’t the whole story, in the end. They did play on turf. Those socks were hideous. While Wambach didn’t take over the tournament, she made important contributions. (And how cool was it of Lloyd to give Wambach the captain’s armband when Wambach entered the game after 74 minutes, and then for Wambach to give it to Christie Rampone, the sole remaining player from the 1999 Women’s World Cup winning team still in the squad, when she was subbed in minutes later?) And Jill Ellis may not be the best coach in the world, but she made the right changes when needed, and those changes allowed the team to blossom into the terrifying force riding roughshod over the world soccer landscape that many of us who can still remember 1999 think of as the US’s right.

And while the plaudits can surely be shared throughout the team—Julie Johnston’s emergence into a world-class talent in defense; Morgan Brian’s star turn as a holding midfielder; Alex Morgan’s return to fitness breaking defenses; Meghan Klingenberg marauding up the left wing—it was really Lloyd that brought the US team to the next level. Her movement, skill on the ball, and technique with a finish was so total on Sunday night that it was obvious to anyone watching that there would be no outcome other than a dominant US win. Not with Lloyd in the form of her life. Lloyd alone scored one more goal in Sunday’s win than any other team had ever scored in a Women’s final. (And how about that last goal? Aye yi yi.)

Not that we should be surprised. Lloyd’s career has been superlative. She is the only person ever to score the winning goal in two Olympic gold-medal matches (2008, 2012). Her one blemish, of course, was four years ago, when her miss from the penalty spot allowed Japan to win the World Cup trophy. I’d say that dark cloud is well and truly banished.

The US Women’s National Team is officially the best team in the world. Carli Lloyd is the captain and best player. She’s also our Player of the Week.

6 Comments

  1. Umm…. Okay. Can’t argue this one – though it is quite likely she emerged relative to Morgan Brian playing the best on the team. The goal from mid field one qualifies Carli.

  2. Mike Macheski says:

    Weren’t there other misses besides just Carli’s in the 2011 World Cup Final shootout? I remember that whole thing being a disaster.

  3. Player of the Week. Player of the Month. Player of the Year…

  4. have to laugh at this guy’s hang up on the socks FFS.

    on a statistical breakdown, i’ll be interested how significant the red card benchings affected the midfield. seemed like night and day. Lloyd emerged stronger each match after the shake up.

    • The red cards did lead to the insertion of Morgan Brian, which then turned into the new team shape with Lloyd higher up the pitch. So there definitely was an impact to Rapinoe and Holiday getting those yellow cards and missing a game.

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