USWNT’s Carli Lloyd ‘rejuvenated’ ahead of 2021 Olympics

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Carli Lloyd isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The two-time World Cup Champion, who turns 39 in July, is already considered a legend in her sport, but she’s trying to prove she merits a spot on what would be her fourth Olympic team — and retirement is a complete afterthought. 

Lloyd is currently in “competition mode” playing weekly games with the USWNT in a summer series of friendlies — and making her Olympics case with strong performances — but admittedly feels anxious about whether she will make the roster for this summer’s postponed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“I’m just giving it everything I have. It’s no different than any other phase in my career. I’m just controlling what I can control, my play, and just continuing to stay sharp throughout,” the two-time gold medalist told The Post about her preparation for the summer games. 

Lloyd said she feels better than ever in the latter half of her career, and is “unsure” when she plans to walk away from the game for good.

Lloyd returned to soccer in January 2021, following her first career surgery to have her left knee scoped — an injury, combined with a global pandemic, that kept her sidelined for NJ/NY Gotham FC’s entire NWSL season last year. She also missed the USWNT’s camps in October and November. 

“I’m working and training harder, on top of my team training, now than I probably ever was before,” Lloyd said while discussing her partnership with Secret Deodorant.

On Sunday, Lloyd became the oldest goal-scorer in U.S. Soccer history in the USWNT’s 4-0 win over Jamaica, breaking icon Kristine Lilly’s record.

“I’ve never felt better from a mental standpoint, a happiness standpoint. Those 10 months with my knee surgery I feel just rejuvenated myself,” Lloyd said, noting that her slowed-down schedule was a blessing in disguise.

“It kinda pulled me away from the game a little bit, and just enabled me to learn the important things in life. As an athlete, I was driven for so many years with this. It is just a sport in the grand scheme of things, but I’m loving it more than I ever have,” she explained.

“I’m just not taking anything for granted everytime I step onto the field.”  

As the Olympics inch closer, Lloyd plans to amp up her routine and continue using CBDMEDIC, a topical brand she’s credited for helping in her overall recovery.  

“I’ll do extra running, ballwork, strength training — it doesn’t stop really. It’s just about reading and listening to my body on a daily basis and what I need. But, I’ll ramp up my diet as we get closer, and get a bit more strict. Cutting out complete sugars and being smarter with my carb intake,” Lloyd explained. 

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Carli Lloyd celebrates after becoming the oldest goal-scorer in USWNT history on June 13, 2021.
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Her CBD treatment usually consists of applying arthritis cream at night and an active sport topical cream for daytime training.

Lloyd also credited “a lot of big changes” off the field in 2020 for shifting her perspective on life.  

“2020 was not only a global pandemic, it was a challenge for so many people — but from a personal standpoint, I had a lot of good changes in my life,” she said, noting that she believes her knee injury and subsequent surgery happened for a reason.  

Lloyd reunited with her parents and siblings last year after being estranged for more than a decade. She also cut ties with her longtime trainer, James Galanis.

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Carli Lloyd dribbles during the USWNT’s match against France on April 13, 2021.
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“I always try to find the positive in every situation… I ended up cutting ties with my trainer of 17 years, then reuniting with my family after 12 years. Not having the Olympics last summer, now [my family] is able to be a part of this, a part of my soccer life again. It’s weird how things work out.”   

Throughout her soccer hiatus, Lloyd said she discovered the beauty of balance. 

“Right now I feel like I have a good balance… maybe a little spirituality I’ve mixed in over the last year or so… I guess I learned to not take things so seriously sometimes,” she said. 

Despite the highs and lows of life on and off the field, never once has Lloyd thought about retirement. Lloyd went pro in 2008.

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Carli Lloyd heads the ball for NJ/NY Gotham FC during the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup final against Portland on May 8, 2021.
Getty Images

“There hasn’t been a switch-on and switch-off in all these years. It has been a switch that has remained on and will be on until the day that I get to hang up those boots, and then I’ll get to shift and live life and enjoy that as well,” she explained, admitting those post-soccer plans may consist of starting a family with husband Brian Hollins.

As she looks toward the Olympics, without retirement tunnel vision, Lloyd is focused on being her best self and letting her play do the talking. 

“I’m trusting the process. I trust the spot I’m in… [I’m] trusting it and being happy and content with myself going out there and giving it everything I have on the field, and then walking off and still feeling proud no matter what,” Lloyd said. 

The soccer star wouldn’t be able to perform at the highest level without Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Deodorant.

“The biggest thing that stood out to me is how Secret supports women’s sports,” she said.

“My partnership with Secret came from hitting those field goals at the Eagles training session [in 2019] and then next thing they were running a football ad with Crystal Dunn and I,” she recalled about her 2020 Super Bowl commercial for Secret Deodorant, alongside the Portland Thorns star.  



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