As Carli Lloyd Retires From the USWNT, These 6 Iconic Moments Prove She'll Always Be a Legend

After 16 years as a fearsome force of attack for the US Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT), Carli Lloyd announced today that she's officially hanging up her cleats for the USWNT and her club team, Gotham FC. Lloyd will play her final four international friendlies this fall with the USWNT and finish out the season with Gotham before retiring.

As her career draws to a close, Lloyd's international numbers easily place her in the same conversation as the USWNT legends that came before her. Here's a taste: she has the second-most international appearances in soccer history with 312 (only USWNT icon Kristine Lilly has more, with 354) and has scored 128 goals, the fourth most in USWNT history.

"Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game," Lloyd said in a news release, according to ESPN. "I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long." Lloyd said she was grateful to the USWNT, her coaches, and her family, adding that she was excited to begin the next chapter with her husband, Brian, "but I will most likely need to another outlet for my competitiveness! Perhaps that will be golf?" (We wouldn't put it past her.)

Whatever's next for Lloyd, we'll always remember her intensity, max-effort style of play, and the jaw-dropping, highlight reel moments she created on the biggest stages. Ahead, relive a few of her most iconic moments in a USWNT jersey.

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Carli Lloyd Scores in Extra Time to Win Gold in 2008 Olympics

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the USWNT and Brazil were knotted up at a 0-0 tie in a gold-medal match destined for extra time. Six minutes after the end of regulation, Lloyd attempted a long-range shot from a tough angle that sliced past the Brazilian goalkeeper to get the US on the board. It proved to be the game-winning goal, and the US, considered the underdogs in the match, took home gold.

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Carli Lloyd Scores Twice to Help US Defeat Japan 2-1 at 2012 Olympics

Carli Lloyd and gold-medal-winning goals just go hand in hand. The striker scored both of the US's goals in a razor-thin 2-1 win over Japan in the 2012 Olympic gold-medal match, and once again the US claimed the title of Olympic champion.


Carli Lloyd Scores a Hat Trick in the 2015 World Cup Final

Perhaps Lloyd's most memorable performance came in 2015, as the USWNT were looking to become World Cup champions for the first time since 1999. Playing against Japan, the team that had beaten them in the 2011 World Cup Final, the US got off to a hot start when Lloyd streaked through the box to score in the third minute. Two minutes later, Lloyd scored again, tapping in a ricocheted corner kick. Eleven minutes after that, Lloyd took aim from about mid-field and lofted in arguably the best goal in World Cup history to cap off her hat trick. The US went on to win 5-2.

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Carli Lloyd Becomes the Oldest Goal Scorer in USWNT History

In June 2021, Lloyd scored in the first minute of a USWNT friendly against Jamaica to become the oldest goal scorer in USWNT history. (It was a record she'd soon surpass in the Olympics.)

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Carli Lloyd Scores Twice to Help USWNT Win Bronze at 2020 Olympics

After a blowout at the hands of Sweden in the group stage, followed by a heartbreaking loss to Canada in the semifinals, the USWNT found themselves fighting for a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics. Lloyd promptly scored twice in the Americans' 4-3 win over Australia, the type of performance we've come to expect from an athlete who always shows up in the biggest moments. Lloyd's goals helped secure her final Olympic medal as a member of the USWNT, and set a record as the oldest goal-scorer in Olympic (and USWNT) history.


Bonus: Carli Lloyd Runs Sprints After the USWNT Loses in Olympic Semifinals

Lloyd's work ethic is second to none, and if you were watching closely during this post-match interview, you got a taste of it. As Megan Rapinoe broke down the USWNT's loss to Canada in the semifinals of the 2021 Olympics, the 39-year-old Lloyd could be seen running wind sprints alone in the background. Later, she tweeted a quote: "Life has knocked me down a few times. It showed me things I never wanted to see. I experienced sadness and failures. But one thing for sure, I always get up."