Carli Lloyd after her final match for Gotham FC. (USA TODAY Sports)

Carli Lloyd has been to the top of the world and back.

She has won two Women’s World Cups.

She is the only player on this planet to have scoring for the winning side in back-to-back gold-medal winning teams in the Summer Olympics.

Add 316 international appearances and 134 goals and we’re still only scratching the surface of a remarkable career that came to a close against the Korea Republic in St. Paul, Minn. on Oct. 25.

Lloyd admitted that her “emotions are going to flow, obviously” in front of family, friends and an adoring public at Allianz Field.

“I know when I play this game it’s going to be really hard to hold back the tears,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to get on the mic after the game.”

The 39-year-old forward from Delran, N.J. has been the most focused player on the USWNT the past 14 years, wearing imaginary blinders and trying to find ways to score goals and way for the side to win. Lloyd, who has kept her emotions to herself during that time, said that the world might see a different person Tuesday night.

“I’ve sort of been this player where I haven’t let my mind go to feeling tired or feeling burned out, or wanting to hang up my boots,” she said during a Zoom media conference call. “I’m at this stage and at this point in my career, and I don’t think any athlete ever thinks of the retirement word until it’s actually near. I’m going to let the emotions flow, the way they’re going to flow.

“I think I’ve been iced out Carli for so long and people have always seen that people haven’t seen the different side of me. But I’m going to savor it. I’m going to savor every moment. I think it’s going to be truly special, truly special for one last time to give it everything I have for this team for the crest for the country for the fans. I’m going to soak it all in, that’s for sure. No tunnel vision, tomorrow night. Going to soak every last possible minute out of it and enjoy it.”

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski put Lloyd’s impact into proper perspective. Lloyd was a member of two Women’s World Cup championship sides (2015, 2019), two Olympic gold-medal winning teams (2008, 2012) and earned a bronze medal  (2021).

“I’ve thought a lot about Carli, where she’s at and what she has done for this game in the United States,” he said. “I know one thing that if she was a male player anywhere in the world, they’ll be statues of her in front of stadiums, in front of sports complexes everywhere.

“I think that’s what Carli deserves. She deserves stadiums and complexes and fields to be named after. She deserves the statues. I mean, she’s a legend, an absolute legend. Just the fact that I had a chance to work with someone like her, it’s very humbling for me. And it’s an honor. I’m happy to say that I had an opportunity to work with someone like her.”

Not many athletes get one Farewell Match.


She got four.

Quite fitting for a legend of the game.

Lloyd’s Farewell Tour included a NJ/NY Gotham FC game in Chester, Pa., near her hometown of Medford, N.J., on Oct. 6 and in St. Paul, Minn., her last USWNT match, and a 1-1 draw with Racing Louisville FC on Oct. 21 and her final pro contest, a 1-0 loss at the Chicago Red Stars in Bridgeview, Ill. on Nov. 7.

After the Louisville match, Lloyd spent a good half hour talking to and signing autographs for the fans.

“People have driven and flown from all different states to come watch me play in this last little farewell a couple of months,” she said. “I’ve seen the posters. I’ve seen the jerseys, the shirts. Although I wish I could get to every single person, it’s nearly impossible or I’d probably be here all night signing.

“It’s been really amazing. I’ve tried to afterwards and do as many autographs as I can. Our team’s got a little get together tonight. So I want to wrap things up and get a you know, get dressed and get ready for that and be able to kind of hang out with my teammates and stuff. So yeah, it’s just been spectacular, and I’m very appreciative of all the support.”

Lloyd savored her Farewell Tour.

“I feel like I’ve been on this never-ending farewell game tour, but it’s been really amazing,” she said. “I’m very grateful. A lot of work has gone into putting on these farewell matches and just really appreciative of all the people who have helped make this truly special. It’s been an incredible journey; 17 years playing professional soccer.

“Obviously ended my career and the other night with the U.S. team. There’s just something different about playing for your country representing the crest for so long. It was incredible, this emotional moment, about being able to end here on a home match farewell game, having the game in Philly as well has been really really special on the club level. So great.”

It’s not quite the end for the 39-year-old Lloyd, as she and Gotham FC will play at the Chicago Red Staras in the National Women’s Soccer League quarterfinals.

“We’re in playoffs, which is fantastic,” said Lloyd, who scored Gotham FC’s lone goal. “I think today was a great display of what we can do as a team and when we kind of have that balance of playing and being able to get in behind teams. We’re definitely really threatening.”

During her postgame tour of RBA, someone gave Lloyd a baguette, although she had not taken a bite of it prior to the press conference.

“Well, I should have actually grabbed the baguette and started eating it during this press conference because I’m incredibly hungry,” she said. “The baguette better not have been stolen out of my locker. I’m going to be going back into my locker and it’s in my bag. I plan to take a nice little bite out of that after I finished up with you guys.”:

Before her USWNT finale, Lloyd bequeathed her No. 10 national team jersey to midfielder Lindsay Horan.

“Seems fitting as we celebrate your 💯 cap to also pass the #🔟 to you @lindseyhoran10,” Lloyd said on Twitter. “Could not be more proud of the player you have become and the player you continue to push yourself to be. You are an amazing human being. Never change. I am so honored to pass the 🔟 to you when I say goodbye on 10/26. Wear it with pride every second you take the field. I will always be with you. I’ll be your biggest fan forever! Love ya my friend. ❤️”

In what had to be an appropriate end and send-off, Lloyd and USWNT teammate Alex Morgan were among the 23 players who received the most votes for the 2021 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11.