Carli Lloyd: USWNT lacked confidence in Women’s World Cup, ‘didn’t think this team was fit’

Carli Lloyd said she “didn’t see the confidence” in the U.S. women’s national team during its 2023 Women’s World Cup run while speaking to reporters at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Lloyd said she “didn’t think this team was fit.”
  • She added that the training sessions at the end of her career — which concluded in November 2021 —  “were very easy and barely competitive and barely training. I can’t speak to how they were in the last year and a half and I wasn’t there, but it’s everything.”
  • When asked about what Spain and England’s presence in the final indicates about their domestic leagues, Lloyd said the NWSL isn’t on the same tactical level as its international counterparts right now.

What Lloyd felt was lacking

“I think developing players at the youth level, mentally being able to persevere. I think you saw a group of players that maybe needed to be taught a little bit more about adversity or have a coach that could motivate, that could allow them to believe in themselves.

“I mean, I just looked at that team, and you didn’t see the confidence. You didn’t. You didn’t see the the aura, in any interviews in any postgame remarks that we’ve generally had over the last several decades, where you just feel like the players are confident. So I think from a development standpoint, from a technical standpoint, from a tactical standpoint, I didn’t think this team was fit.”


Carli Lloyd on her criticism of the USWNT: ‘I simply didn’t like what I saw’

What Lloyd said about NWSL

“I just think that we’re seeing these leagues around the world really put pressure on the NWSL. Because I firmly believe the NWSL is one of the best leagues in the world from a transitional standpoint. From a tactical standpoint, not up there yet. From a tactical standpoint, probably not up there that much,” she said. “So it’s going to be interesting and you’re not seeing a lot of players coming overseas into the NWSL whether that is the pay structure, the caps, all of that.”


Following the USWNT’s 0-0 draw with Portugal, Lloyd criticized the Americans for dancing and smiling after the final group stage match, adding “you’re lucky to not be going home right now.”

USWNT captain Lindsey Horan said the comments were “kind of frustrating for me to hear, especially knowing this team and how much we put into every single game” during a news conference at the tournament before the team was eliminated. When asked about the remarks, Horan said, “I always want to defend my team and say like, you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, you have no idea every single angle, every single training, like what we’re doing individually, collectively, et cetera.”

Required reading

(Photo: Dennis Schneidler / USA Today)

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