Will the United States’s most celebrated women football player Carli Lloyd be third-time lucky also? The team believes so as the two-time Olympic gold medallist and the 2015 FIFA Player-of-the-Year is capable of turning things around under crunch situations. She is called the ‘Clutch Player’ as she scores those decisive goals.
The London Olympics is still fresh in the minds of the Americans. And, it was Lloyd who delivered for the US. The gifted midfielder with a golden pair of feet and known for her tremendous speed and acceleration, picked up the ball just inside the midfield and dribbled all the way to the box before unleashing a powerful right-footer that settled cosily inside the goal post. The 2-1 win gave the US its third straight Olympic gold and broke many a Japanese heart.
For Lloyd, it was the second time that she had guided the team to the gold at the Olympics. At the 2008 Beijing Games, she scored the all-important goal against Brazil in overtime.
Now as the US chases its fourth consecutive Olympic gold, all eyes will obviously be on Lloyd, the only player of either gender to have scored all the goals of a team in two victorious finals.
The tenacious and energetic 34-year old, who loves shopping and watching movies, is back after a niggling knee injury. Her biggest challenge in Rio will be to stay at her best. She may be a bit older than the rest in the bunch but is surely a lot wiser and more experienced to work magic for the team.
Lloyd is a big star now but back in 2003 she almost quit the sport as she was dropped from the under-21 team for want of national calibre.
At the beginning of her career, she was criticised for being inconsistent and for losing possession too easily.
But that did not deter her. She worked hard in proving her doubters wrong and is now possibly the planet’s best women’s football player.
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