The US Ladies’s Nationwide Staff’s lackluster — bordering on catastrophic — efficiency in its last sport of the 2023 World Cup group stage drew criticism from around the globe.
However no voice was extra forceful in its rebuke of the two-time reigning champions’ displaying than that of newly retired USWNT celebrity Carli Lloyd.
The legendary American striker — who gained two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals with The Stars and Stripes — expressed frustration along with her former group’s gamers for “dancing” and “smiling” after Tuesday’s poor efficiency in opposition to Portugal resulted in a scoreless draw.
“There is a distinction between being respectful of the followers and saying howdy to your loved ones, however to be dancing, to be smiling?” Lloyd stated on FOX after the match.
“I imply, the participant of the match was that submit,” she added, referencing a shot from Portugal’s Ana Capeta that may’ve knocked the US out of the event had it not ricocheted off of the goalpost. “You might be fortunate to not be going dwelling proper now.”
Although the USWNT managed to narrowly escape the group, Tuesday’s disappointing consequence left the squad in a distant second place behind the Netherlands. It additionally purchased the People a date with Group G’s first-place finisher — possible Sweden, a nightmarish matchup for the US — of their first match of the knockout stage.
Later within the broadcast, Lloyd stated she was disillusioned to not be “seeing that keenness” from the US given the stakes of the Portugal sport and the dire penalties of a less-than-stellar consequence. She went on to name their output “uninspiring” and accused the group of “taking it as a right.”
“There is a distinction between confidence and conceitedness,” Lloyd continued. “That is a effective line of the place is the course going with that. It is okay to be assured, however you by no means wish to cross that line of being conceited.”
“That is precisely what can come and chew you,” she added.
When a reporter requested USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski for a response to Lloyd’s critiques throughout his post-match press convention, the 46-year-old shortly and fervently got here to his squad’s protection. Whereas he acknowledged that he and his gamers “usually are not pleased with our efficiency” and know that Tuesday’s displaying was “not adequate,” he additionally famous that he is by no means witnessed this group “not attempt onerous or not compete.”
“The one factor that I wish to say is that this group needed to win this sport greater than anything,” Andonovski stated. “They’ve put every little thing they might in preparation for this event and in each sport that they go.”
“To query the mentality of this group, to query the willingness to win, to compete — I feel it is insane,” he added.
The reigning champions subsequent take the sector in Melbourne, the place they will possible face a Sweden facet that knocked them out of the 2016 Rio Olympics and beat them 3-0 on the Tokyo Video games 5 years later. Followers stateside can tune in to look at the motion unfold on FOX Sunday at 5 a.m. ET (7 p.m. native time).