The Jersey-bred athlete and U.S. Women's National Team soccer player, who became a national phenomenon after her performance in the final Women's World Cup game against Japan, chats with Philadelphia Style about her love for Twitter, who she's inspired by, and her go-to restaurant in Philly.
The midfielder initially landed in Canada to moderate fanfare, but left as the biggest star in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 tournament. Carli Lloyd, who grew up in Delran, New Jersey, is now being celebrated as a hero of sorts, thanks to her spectacular performance in the final game on July 5, scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes.
A month after the team's win, we caught up with Lloyd to discuss who she's influenced by, how she uses social media as a positive platform, and what she likes to do when she's not on the soccer field.
What's it like being on a team with some of the most talented athletes in the world? Carli Lloyd: My teammates are amazing athletes and amazing human beings. To be able to be on the same team as them on a daily basis is an absolute honor.
Who inspires you? CL: My coach and mentor James Galanis of Universal Soccer Academy. I have watched him grow as a coach and person over the years through hard work and resilience. The way he conducts himself and powers through challenges has inspired me to never give up and always give 100 percent.
You recently responded to a few critics on Twitter and Kobe Bryant chimed in. How has social media affected your career? CL: I love social media. I use it as a tool to inspire young players and keep fans up to date on my career. Of course with social media also come the haters that need to be put in their place every now and again.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to, thanks to your soccer career? CL: We took a quick trip to Spain when we were in Portugal playing at the Algarve Cup which I absolutely loved. I enjoyed our 2011 pre-World Cup camp in Austria, and enjoyed Japan when we went to play there, too.
What is your ultimate goal in your soccer career? CL: To become the greatest soccer player to ever play.
What does the future hold for you? Do you see yourself being in the next World Cup? CL: I will continue to work as hard as I can in the short and long [terms]. My goal is to play through to the 2020 Olympics. I am in the best shape of my life and feel I have a lot more left in the tank.
When you’re back in your hometown, what are your favorite spots to visit? CL: I really enjoy good quality food, so I usually go to Philly every now and again for Pietro's Pizza. Some local spots near me are Monsoon Indian and Healthy Garden, but typically being home in my own house is what I love most.
What do you have planned for the off-season? CL: The off-season is a time to rebuild my game, so I don’t really get much downtime. However, the off-season is also a good time to spend time with my fiancé, friends, and family—and go shopping.
Speaking of your fiancé, congrats on your recent engagement. Now that the World Cup is over, will you have more time to plan your wedding? CL: I still have some time to plan the wedding, and there isn't a whole lot that we need to plan but it will now be fun to browse the Internet for some ideas.