No end in sight for Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd, a Delran native, will turn 32 in July and is preparing for the 2015 World Cup.
Carli Lloyd, a Delran native, will turn 32 in July and is preparing for the 2015 World Cup. (DANIEL ROLAND /AFP/Getty)
Posted: May 25, 2014

Carli Lloyd isn't quite ready to discuss her next career move, after her soccer playing days are over.

That's because Lloyd, The Inquirer's two-time South Jersey player of the year at Delran, doesn't feel the end is near.

She will turn 32 in July and has enjoyed an accomplished career with the U.S. national team, a career in which she has scored 50 goals, made 171 appearances, and starred in two Olympic gold-medal games.

Lloyd will return to the area Aug. 9 to host her seventh annual soccer camp in Lumberton. It is a one-day affair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. She loves working with youngsters, and as anyone who has seen her around autograph seekers knows, she truly connects with her fan base.

It might suggest that coaching is in the offing, but right now, Lloyd has only that tunnel vision that all accomplished athletes possess, looking only ahead to that next game.

"I haven't really thought about coaching because my heart and soul are in playing and getting better," Lloyd said in a recent phone interview.

Lloyd has a firm belief that her career isn't close to concluding.

"If I have to choose, I would like to go through this cycle and possibly another cycle," she said. "Another six years and it is still a ways away and a lot could come into it, so I plan to take it year by year."

First and foremost, she is preparing for the 2015 World Cup, which will be in Canada. Then there's the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Lloyd is best known for scoring the winning goal in the 2008 Olympic gold-medal game in overtime against Brazil, yet she said almost immediately after that monumental event that she didn't want to be defined only by that game.

To prove that point, she scored both goals as the United States beat Japan, 2-1, in the 2012 Olympic gold-medal game.

And while she is looking forward to the World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Lloyd is excited to be returning home to conduct her camp. Lloyd has a residence in Mount Laurel, but because of her time with the U.S. team, she often goes long periods of time without being home.

"I love being home," said Lloyd, who is competing this summer for the Western New York Flash of the Women's Professional Soccer League. "There is no place like home."

That is why she enjoys conducting the camp so much. (For more information on her camp, go to www.carlilloyd.com.)

Yet nobody should think it's a way of looking toward planning her next career.

Right now, Lloyd and the other veterans realize there is too much competition from younger players who want a spot on the U.S. team. There is an equal reluctance from Lloyd to give up her position.

"I know there are young players who are battling for the job, but the competitor in me doesn't want to back down from any challenge," Lloyd said.

This attitude and belief in herself have enabled Lloyd to stay on top for so long.

And even though Lloyd's legacy of excellence has long been established, she's as eager as ever to add several more chapters to an already remarkable story.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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