- Carli Lloyd reaches 300 caps with USA
- She's only the third player in history, men's or women's, to reach the milestone
- The two-time Women's World Cup winner made history in Sweden
Carli Lloyd was already a legend and wrote her name in women's football history forever when she scored a stunning hat-trick in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup™ final and played a role in the USWNT's repeat triumph in 2019.
However, she joined elite company on Saturday in an international friendly with Sweden by reaching her 300th career cap with the Stars and Stripes.
She is now only the third player in history, female or male, to have played 300 international games. Her former team-mates Christie Pearce Rampone (311) and Kristine Lilly (354) are the other two.
"What Carli has done is incredible," USA coach Vlatko Andonovski said before the match. "She's a living legend for this team and for women’s soccer in general. I’m honored to be a part of her incredible journey."
"I guess it kind of is [insane]," Lloyd told US Soccer. "I just had this vision in my mind of how long I want to go in my career and when I want to determine the ending. I've just been chugging along and it's crazy because obviously Kristine Lilly, Christie Pearce Rampone are the only two, but I'm just plugging along, here for the ride and the journey.
"When you start on a journey like this, you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know how many years you're going to have. You compete every single day. You're focused on the upcoming championship. When one is done, you're focusing on the next one and before you know it, you get to the tail-end of your career.
"It's an honor because nothing is ever given; everything is earned."
Lloyd in numbers
A total of 238 players have earned at least one cap for the USA. Lloyd has played with 102 of them.
Of Lloyd's 300 caps, 41 of them have come at major international tournaments She has played in 25 World Cup games and 16 matches at the Olympics. She has earned caps in every FIFA major tournament since 2007 and every Olympics since 2008.
Lloyd is in her 17th year of representing the US women's national team, and throughout that time period, the team has only lost 15 matches.
Lloyd has played for five different head coaches throughout her national team career. She earned the most under Jill Ellis with 124 caps and second-most under Pia Sundhage with 100.
Lloyd has won two Women's World Cups, two Women's Olympic Football Tournament gold medals - she's determined to be a part of the squad at Tokyo 2020 - and been named the best women's football in the world by FIFA twice.
Lloyd made her international debut in 2005 and since then the USWNT has a winning percentage of over 89 per cent in matches she played.
"The most rewarding part is staying true to who I am, not wavering from that. I'm different but I'm still the same Carli that rolled out of Delran AA playing soccer. I think I've continued to remain humble, hungry.
"The more success I've had throughout my career, the hungrier I've become and I'm training now just as hard if not harder than when I was when I first came on to this team and that's what I love. I love the grind and just the everyday of trying to be better. For me it's never good enough if I'm not on that pursuit."
Lloyd has represented the Stars and Stripes in three different decades and most notably played influential roles in helping the USA win two gold medals and two Women's World Cups.
"Every single day, not matter if I'm starting a game or not, I'm bringing the same amount of effort every single day because I think it's important to honor the crest, to honor those who have come before me that have paved the way and I've been incredibly grateful to play alongside so many incredible players."
She is the highest-scoring USA midfielder of all time with 124 career goals - a tally that puts her fourth all time - and is sixth all-time for assists with 62.
"To be in company with Kristine Lilly and Christie Rampone - two players I looked up to growing up and had the absolute honor of playing with both of them as well - it's just incredible. It's been an amazing journey and I've been honored to be here for this long."