Carli Lloyd and Alexi Lalas on the Fox FIFA Women's World Cup set on Aug. 2, 2023. Carli Lloyd and Alexi Lalas on the Fox Women’s World Cup set on Aug. 2, 2023.

Perhaps the most discussion around any aspect of Fox’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage so far is on what analyst Carli Lloyd said Tuesday after the U.S. women’s team’s 0-0 draw with Portugal. Lloyd first had criticisms for the USWNT players for appearing to celebrate the draw (and how it sent them through to the knockout stage, but from second place in the group rather than first), then went off on head coach Vlatko Andonovski:

Those criticisms sparked a lot of discussion. That included pushback from Andonovski, who said “To question that mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete—I think it’s insane.” But many others have endorsed Lloyd’s criticisms of the USWNT’s performance at this tournament so far. And she stuck with them Wednesday, but also explained her rationale a bit:

And Lloyd then got some further support there from Fox colleague Alexi Lalas:

“In the light of the new day, the harsh light of the new day, nothing has really changed in terms of the reaction. And look, not everybody is wired like Carli Lloyd. And, by the way, you were wonderful yesterday. Because it came, like you said, from a place that was personal, that was emotional, and that was honest. And while we’re not all wired the same, I think we do share that when we are talking about our national teams, because we’re talking about our country and we want this to go well. We also want to have pride in terms of what is going on on the field.”

“And yes, it’s a whole new day here in terms of getting out of the group. They’ve got to fix some things going forward, the criticism they got I think is warranted, and fair. But there also is a belief that maybe there is another team hiding behind this one, maybe, big maybe, that can do better. Because if not, they’re going to go home quick.”

It’s not terribly surprising to see Lalas defend Lloyd here. Beyond being on-set coworkers, Lalas has his own history of critical commentary on U.S. national teams (men’s and women’s), and often has gone farther than Lloyd did in this case. But it is still notable to see him weigh in on this, and to do so with such an endorsement of Lloyd’s comments. And it will be interesting to see how the USWNT does going forward (they’ll face Sweden at 5 a.m. Eastern Saturday), and how Lloyd and Lalas discuss it.

[Fox Soccer on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.