Carli Lloyd blasts USWNT after shock Gold Cup loss to Mexico: ‘No one fears us anymore’

Carli Lloyd hasn’t played a match in three years, but the U.S. women’s national team legend remains one of the biggest voices in soccer.

The one-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner has transitioned into a successful career as Fox Sports pundit. But her relationship to her former team has soured in recent seasons.

Lloyd, 41, has become one of the loudest critics of the Stars and Stripes since her retirement, arguing that the USWNT has regressed to an almost unrecognizable level compared to its reign as two-time World Cup champion in the 2010s.

She delivered another scathing rebuke of the USWNT on Tuesday after the team’s 2-0 loss to Mexico in its final CONCACAF W Gold Cup group-stage match.

MORE: Alexi Lalas, Carli Lloyd respond to Lindsay Horan’s critique of U.S. Soccer fans

Lloyd questioned USWNT players’ commitment — a regular focus of her criticism — while also batting away suggestions that the squad’s struggles in recent year are merely the result of “the rest of the world” catching up. She took to X, the website formerly known as Twitter, to air out her frustrations with the current roster.

In her social media rant, Lloyd suggested that the rot started during the Tokyo Olympics, a tournament in which she took part but exerted far less influence than she had in years prior.

The former attacking dynamo also implied that the “killer instinct” that made the USWNT so hard to play against has eroded, not because of the growth of the game worldwide but because of “complacency and lack of hunger” within the U.S.’s ranks.

Lloyd’s gripes with the USWNT rarely stem from quantifiable attributes such as tactical setup. She focuses on intangibles, on feelings.

Lloyd felt the U.S. slipped up at the 2023 World Cup because the youthful squad had the audacity to celebrate getting out of the group stage. She felt as if the Stars and Stripes were acting entitled because the USSF had the audacity to set thermostats in players’ hotel rooms to their desired temperature prior to the global tournament.

To Lloyd’s credit, the U.S. did look flat Tuesday against El Tri Femenil. The team conceded a soft goal off of a defensive error (and incredible chipped finish) to fall behind against Mexico in the first half.

Trinity Rodman had a glorious chance to level the score as the game approached stoppage time, but her effort whistled wide. A few moments later, Mexico secured the victory when Mayra Pelayo sank U.S. hearts with a curler straight into the top corner.

Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd react to USWNT loss to Mexico

Tuesday’s result represents just the second defeat to Mexico in 43 meetings for the USWNT. It also snapped an 80-match unbeaten streak against fellow CONCACAF foes on home soil.

“Not only CONCACAF but the whole world is continuing to raise its level,” star forward Alex Morgan said after the loss. “It’s helping with all the leagues around the world, and Mexico is definitely a product of that with their league.

“CONCACAF is not what it was 14 years ago when we had our last loss to Mexico.”

MORE: 2024 women’s Gold Cup fixtures, schedule, results with USWNT favored

Lloyd also gave Mexico its due once the dust settled.

Still, Lloyd was less than complimentary of the U.S. effort, mirroring comments she made in 2022 about her perception of the squad’s changing culture during her final years with the team.

“It was really tough and challenging to play these last several years,” Lloyd said on Hope Solo’s “Hope Solo Speaks” podcast in 2022. “To be quite honest, I hated it. It wasn’t fun going in. It was only for love of the game, really, for me. I wanted to win and wanted to help the team, but the culture within the team was the worst I had ever seen it.”

In terms of results, the USWNT has been trending downward over the last few years. But with tactical guru Emma Hayes set to take over as head coach and a cadre of young talent waiting in the wings, the team could be on the upswing in 2024.

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