As the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team attempts to bring home its third-straight World Cup win, some would-be fans are increasingly put off by the divisive rhetoric used by star players off the field.
For one former star, Carli Lloyd, the current team no longer reflects what was so admirable about it when she was a member.
Lloyd, who brought home two Olympic gold medals, played in a pair of World Cup championship games, and earned the FIFA Player of the Year award twice before retiring in 2021, slammed the current lineup for what she described as an inexcusable display of arrogance.
Even after the U.S.-Portugal game on Tuesday ended in a scoreless tie, American players exited the field with a showy display of dancing and celebratory smiles.
In Lloyd’s opinion, such a response was unwarranted — particularly because Portugal narrowly missed a game-winning point when the ball hit a goalpost.
“There’s a difference between being respectful of the fans and saying hello to your family,” the retired player acknowledged. “But to be dancing, to be smiling — I mean, the player of that match was the post. You were lucky to not be going home right now.”
BLESS THAT POST
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) August 1, 2023
Lloyd went on to depict the current U.S. team as having become spoiled after a series of big wins, noting that she told the players “that you can’t take anything for granted — you have to work for everything that you get.”
In recent years, however, she lamented that the squad has become complacent.
“The problem is when you win, and you get things, winning has taken on a different meaning,” she added. “It is no longer we want to win because we want to win. No, we want everything that comes with winning, and we think we can just roll out and win games.”
This shift has damaged the U.S. team’s reputation on the world stage, Lloyd concluded.
“Teams see that,” she said. “They see the arrogance in the U.S. and see that they’re not this unstoppable team. They see that they’re able to be broken down and beaten.”