World Cup 2023: USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski calls Carli Lloyd's comments about team 'insane'

Lloyd admonished the U.S. for celebrating after its 0-0 tie with Portugal and said they're 'lucky to not be going home right now'

U.S. women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski didn't appreciate one of his former players questioning his team.

Soon after ex-USWNT captain Carli Lloyd called out her former teammates for celebrating following a disappointing 0-0 draw with Portugal on Tuesday, Andonovski called Lloyd's comments "insane."

"This team wanted to win this game more than anything," Andonovski said after the game. "To question the mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete, I think is insane.

"It's not like we played well, by any means. We owned 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."

Vlatko Andonovski and the U.S. advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup. (Photo by Jan Kruger - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Vlatko Andonovski and the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup. (Photo by Jan Kruger - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Lloyd, now an analyst for Fox Sports, specifically admonished the team's decision to celebrate with fans after the game.

"I have never witnessed something like that," Lloyd said following the Portugal game. "There's a difference between being respectful of the fans and saying hello to your family. But to be dancing, to be smiling — I mean, the player of that match was that post. You're lucky to not be going home right now."

Although the draw sent the U.S. to the Round of 16, the team failed to silence any doubt that crept up on the two-time defending World Cup champions from the previous two matches — a 3-0 win over Vietnam and 1-1 draw with the Netherlands. The 2019 runner-up Dutch, meanwhile, cruised to a 7-0 win over Vietnam.

This isn't the first time Lloyd has questioned her old team. In 2022, Lloyd said she "hated" the last few years of her career on the USWNT because "the culture within the team was the worst I’d ever seen it." Although she didn't mention specifics, the U.S. went through a coaching change in 2019 when Andonovski was hired after Jill Ellis stepped down.

Lloyd, 41, played 100 matches for the U.S. team from 2007-21 before retiring after the 2021 Toyko Olympics. She scored 51 goals during her international career, including 10 in four Olympic competitions and 10 in four World Cups.