"My soccer career is a process," Lloyd said Saturday. "I want to make sure I'm doing everything possible to make myself better, every day, every game."
Lloyd, who turned 30 this month, seems to be in the zone. Her goal on Saturday - against the same Colombian goalkeeper she beat last summer in the World Cup in Germany - gave Lloyd four all-time Olympic goals. On the same day that Abby Wambach scored her sixth Olympic goal to move to the top of the American Olympic list, ahead of both Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett, Lloyd moved into a tie for fourth on the list, matching three retired players: Kristine Lilly, Shannon McMillan, and Angela Hucles.
Lloyd's mission to focus on one game at a time has become more challenging in recent weeks. A regular starter at center midfield for most of the last four years, she was left out of the starting lineup for the opening game against France.
"Of course I was upset," Lloyd said. "But if you want to be the best you need obstacles. I had a bump in the road and it gave me an extra edge coming in. I think I responded well."
After an off day against China in a friendly at PPL Park at the end of May, Lloyd lost her starting spot. She said that coach Pia Sundhage has high standards for her and she wasn't meeting them.
But the benching motivated her.
"It made me work harder," she said. "I changed my mind-set and took everything day by day. And it gave me a little time to prep for not starting against France. I knew I would have to deal with it and respond."
Sundhage praised Lloyd's response. So did her teammates.
"I'm impressed with the way she's handled it," said goalkeeper Hope Solo. "She's a leader on this team. She's a rock."