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Carli Lloyd’s Brutally Honest Analysis Shines Amid World Cup Disaster

  • Lloyd's predictions about USWNT’s ‘lackluster’ effort proved prescient.
  • ‘The team was not prepared,’ she said after Sunday’s loss to Sweden.
United States Women's World Cup disaster.
Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports analyst Carli Lloyd will be the only American looking good after this year’s disastrous World Cup.

The rookie TV analyst correctly sounded the alarm that an overconfident, underprepared USWNT was heading for a fall. 

Lloyd was proven right Sunday as Sweden eliminated USWNT in a 5-4 penalty shootout. It was the earliest exit ever for Team USA in the Women’s World Cup. And it ended the dream of a three-peat for the pre-tournament favorites. 

Coverage of Sunday’s loss focused on the winning shot eking over the goal line by a millimeter.  But like the best sports analysts, Lloyd smelled this upset on the breeze. She didn’t mince words or make excuses for her old teammates on Fox’s post-game show. She blamed the players, the coach, and the program.

“No, it was not a millimeter. This was years in the making. This is going to haunt the players. I’ll give them credit in saying that they came out and they played; they played well, they just didn’t score a goal. But you can’t stay complacent and not evolve, and that is exactly what has happened,” Lloyd said.

“This is on the players, this is on coach Vlatko Andonovski, U.S. Soccer, that has contributed to this failure and this exit at the World Cup. The team was not prepared, and a lot of these younger players, we’re going to see a new era, and a lot of these younger players, I hope, will use this as a huge learning experience to get better in the future.”

Her Fox colleague Alexi Lalas correctly noted the USWNT would only have had to play the powerful Swedish team if they had underperformed in the Group Stage.

“Instead of playing South Africa, you ended up having to play Sweden, the number three team in the world. Having said all that, this was without a doubt a failure of historic proportions,” Lalas said. “This U.S. team has never finished worse than third in a World Cup, so obviously, going out in the Round of 16 is not good. And when I look at the previous versions of this team that won the World Cup in 2015, in 2019, this is the weakest of the three, and so ultimately, they just weren’t good enough.”

Bravo, Carli Lloyd, for being smart and brave enough to level with TV viewers.

We’ve all seen the opposite before.

The ex-football coach who accepts the big bucks TV studio job. But they won’t criticize anybody for fear of risking their next coaching job.

The former referee makes excuses for bad officiating calls rather than giving us the facts.

Or the big-name ex-player who transitions into TV won’t second-guess his former teammates because he’s not “really” part of the media.

Well, guess what, genius? Taking a network’s money means you’re part of the media. And it’s your job to give viewers your honest analysis.

That’s precisely what the pride of Rutgers University did when she sounded the alarm after the USWNT’s scoreless draw with Portugal in the Group stage.

“I’m just seeing a very lackluster, uninspiring, taking it for granted — where winning and training and doing all you can to be the best possible individual player is not happening,” she said.

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Lloyd added the players should have been ashamed of dancing on the field and taking selfies after barely escaping their earliest World Cup exit. Where was the sense of urgency? Where was the commitment to get better? 

Instead of kicking over trash cans in the locker room, the women’s stars acted like they didn’t care. Nothing to see here. On to the next round.

Well, Lloyd wasn’t having it.

“I have never witnessed something like that,” she declared as she pointed to clips of the players smiling and dancing after the game. “There’s a difference between being respectful to the fans and saying hello to your family, but to be dancing and smiling — I mean, the player of the match was that post. We’re lucky to not be going home right now.”

Maybe they wouldn’t be going home if the cocky USWNT had paid attention to Lloyd’s TV analysis instead of taking selfies. 

We will never know. 

But what we do know is that Fox has struck gold with Lloyd.

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