By Michael Lewis
Carli Lloyd praised the U.S. women’s national team’s performance after its 6-1 Group G triumph over New Zealand in the Olympics Saturday, but she reminded fans that the team still has a long way to go to capture the gold medal.
The 3-0 loss to Sweden Wednesday was a motivating factor for the team, the veteran forward said.
“We have to know that we can’t take anything for granted,” she told NBCSN. “This isn’t going be handed to us. It’s going to be hard. Sometimes it’s not going be pretty, but I think we realize that we need to bring our mentality every single game. And then we can layer upon the tactics and technical aspect of the game. So. if we don’t have that mentality that is our core, [which] has been a part of this team since the start.
“It was much better response; a much better mentality and I think you know it was a bit of a wakeup call for all of us.”
The Americans were called offside four times in the first half and the NJ/NY Gotham FC standout took her share of the blame for it. She noted she was called offside at least twice.
“I’m not proud of being offsides as many times as I was,” she said. “I’ll go back I’ll look and just kind of get that timing better. But some creative runs, some good balls. The three of us that started up top were hungry to get in the attack and make things happen. Just crazy that we had that many goals called offsides. We got to be better at that. I got to be better at that.”
The USA will meet Australia, which lost to Sweden, 4-2, earlier on Saturday. Both teams are 1-1-0 entering that match.
“I think this is just the start,” Lloyd said. “It was a good response, good result, good goals. We always can learn. We always can get better, but I think this is a start in the right direction. Now we have to switch gears and get ready for a game against Australia. It’s very quick turnaround in the Olympics, but much better.”
Lloyd added that she was “just really proud of the group and proud of Lindsay Horan,” who earned her 100th cap.
“It was sort of something that no one wanted to talk about, so I think that was awesome,” he said.
Horan scored the USWNT’s second goal.