Carli Lloyd slams former teammates as USA almost crash out of Women’s World Cup

Former United States women’s national team player Carli Lloyd labelled USA’s performance against Portugal “lacklustre” and “uninspiring” as they almost crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages.

The defending champions needed to avoid defeat but were inches away from elimination when Portugal substitute Ana Capeta struck the post in stoppage time.

The USA held on to scrape a 0-0 draw, enough to secure progress to the last-16 while knocking Portugal out, but the four-time winners missed out on top spot in Group E with Lloyd highly critical of the display from her former side.

"I made some comments when I retired in 2021. I felt a shift within this team and federation, the culture and mentality, she said speaking on FOX Soccer. “The importance and meaning from winning has changed, the importance now comes from what comes from winning.

“It started to shift post-2020. There are a lot of off-the-field things that are happening but you never want to take anything for granted. You put on that jersey and you want to give it everything you have for the people before you and the people that are going to come after you.

“I’m just not seeing that passion. I’m just seeing a very lacklustre, uninspiring, taking it for granted [mentality] where winning and training and doing all that you can to be the best possible individual player is not happening.”

After the game, the players were pictured dancing and smiling as well as taking pictures with fans, something that drew further criticism from Lloyd.

She said: “There’s a difference between being respectful to the fans and saying hello to your families but to be dancing and smiling...the player of the match was that post, they are lucky to not be going home right now.”

Having won their opening game 3-0 against Vietnam, the US have now drawn back-to-back games to finish second in their group for just the second time in the history of the competition.

The draws also mark the first time in Women’s World Cup history that the US team has failed to win at least two of their group-stage fixtures.

“It’s tough to be second, we wanted to go through first,” Alex Morgan told ITV after the game. “This team gave everything, we just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“In the last few minutes, we had to hold it down and get the result to move on. It’s not the result we wanted but we move forward. It’s just not going in the back of the net.

“We have so many corners and we have so many opportunities, we get the crosses. It’s just unlucky. It’s about following through with shots and making the right decisions in front of goal.”

The US will now likely face Sweeden in the first round of the knockout stages. Despite the draw, they remain undefeated in their last 18 games at the World Cup, their longest unbeaten streak in the competition.