Two-time World Cup winner Carli Lloyd had some harsh words for the USWNT after the Americans’ 0-0 draw against Portugal. The tie allows the USWNT to move on to the knockout rounds, though the U.S. will do so as the No. 2 seed, which is a much harder path to the final.
But according to Lloyd, her former team isn’t headed for the championship game anyway.
“Today was uninspiring. Disappointing. They don’t look fit. They’re playing as individuals and the tactics are too predictable,” Lloyd said on FOX Sports postgame show. "(They're) lucky to not be going home right now."
She reiterated some criticism she’s leveled at U.S. soccer since retiring in 2021, saying “the winning doesn’t matter as much anymore” as much as “a lot of the off the field things that are happening.”
“It started to shift post-2020,” Lloyd said. “You never want to take anything for granted. You put that jersey on for everyone who came before you and everyone who came after, and give it everything you have. I’m just not seeing the passion. It was lackluster, it was uninspiring.”
She added the U.S. is “playing not to lose versus playing to win — Portugal played to win, and they almost did.”
What did Carli Lloyd say about the USWNT dancing?
As the camera cut to scenes of a couple USWNT players being interviewed by media and smiling, and of others greeting fans and taking selfies, Lloyd seemed incredulous, saying she'd "never seen anything like that," and criticizing the USWNT for not seeming angrier about its play vs. Portugal.
"I’m all for positivity, but at the same time, the cheering, the dancing, I’ve got a problem with that," Lloyd said, shaking her head in obvious disgust. "Because, I wouldn’t be happy. I know several other (former USWNT) players wouldn’t be happy with that tie. It hasn’t been good overall these (first) three games. It’s a body language thing, it’s a facial expression.
"I really don’t know if they’re upset with how they’ve played and the results of this World Cup."
She said multiple times that she saw warning signs of issues within U.S. soccer for the last couple years.
"There have been multiple things out of control, and now it's spiraling on the world stage," she said.
Pushed for specifics about what off-field events she was referencing, Lloyd mentioned the USWNT’s pregame dancing, too.
“Winning and training and doing all that you can do to be the best individual player, that’s not happening. We saw the dancing,” she said. “There’s a difference between confident and arrogance. Where is the direction going?”
What did Carli Lloyd say about Vlatko Andonovski?
Lloyd also had words for USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski, saying she understands he's trying to keep things positive with the players, but that she doesn't think that's what they need right now. She said the team is young and needs a more firm reaction from its coach to "light a fire."
Andonovski responded during the postgame news conference when asked about Lloyd's comments.
"This team wanted to win this game more than anything else, and they've put everything they could in preparation for this tournament. So, to question the mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete, I think it's insane.
"I've never, never seen this team step on the field and not try to compete. It's not like we played well, by any means. We own it. We know it's not good enough. We're not happy with our performance, but we qualified for the next round. We're moving on."
"To question the mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete... I think it's insane."
USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski, when asked to respond to postgame criticisms made by @CarliLloyd and some of the @FOXSports crew https://t.co/PFn5C8cDZJ pic.twitter.com/O600CE3BW4
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 1, 2023
Lloyd questions USWNT's 'heart'
Tuesday was hardly the first time Lloyd has been critical of the USWNT this World Cup. She ripped into the Americans at halftime of their Netherlands game, which ended in a 1-1 draw, and before kickoff against Portugal, she said star forward Alex Morgan should be benched.
Twitter reacts to Carli Lloyd
Clips of Lloyd's comments began circulating on social media, and there was no shortage of reactions on Twitter (now called X).
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 1, 2023
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 1, 2023
Carli Lloyd going in on everyone, especially Vlatko Andonovski. Really good commentary. No need for another former player just being nice.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) August 1, 2023
— Scott Sandalow (@ScottSandalow) August 1, 2023
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Carli Lloyd says USWNT 'spiraling' on the World Cup stage