Carli Lloyd covering the World Cup on Fox Photo credit: Fox

Carli Lloyd knows what a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion looks like and she wasn’t seeing it while calling the United States Women’s National Team’s matches for Fox a couple of weeks ago.

Earlier this month at the World Cup, the USWNT needed a victory against Portugal to win their group or a draw to advance as the second-place team. The USWNT ultimately had a 0-0 draw with Portugal and celebrated advancing as the second-place team, which garnered criticism from Lloyd.

“I have never witnessed something like that,” Lloyd said on Fox as she watched the USWNT celebrate their draw. “There’s a difference between being respectful of the fans and being ‘hello’ to your family. But to be dancing? To be smiling? I mean, the player of the match was that post. You are lucky to not be going home right now.”

Lloyd’s blunt criticism went viral, with some questioning whether she had personal or even political issues with this USWNT roster. With the USWNT now long eliminated from this year’s World Cup, Lloyd spoke to The Athletic and defended her viral comments.

“This wasn’t anything that was scripted,” Lloyd told The Athletic Tuesday morning in a phone interview from Australia, the site of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. “This was a reaction to what I was seeing, what I was feeling, what came from my heart.”

Lloyd noted how hard she worked to stay on the USWNT for 17 years, and claimed she started to notice a regression with the team before she retired. The USWNT took Bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and Lloyd retired from the national team shortly after. Now with Fox as an analyst, Lloyd was underscored as one of the USWNT’s harshest critics for her commentary after the match against Portugal.

“I think maybe I was the only one brave enough to say it how it is,” Lloyd continued to The Athletic. “I’ve always been somebody that is blunt, that’s honest, that maybe comes across to the media as being selfish, arrogant, all these words that I’ve heard about me. And that’s been pretty wild to hear because it’s really not true. I think there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and I just saw this team go in a direction where the values that were built and instilled in this team is not what was displayed out at this World Cup.”

Maybe Lloyd does hold a grudge against some of her teammates who remain on the USWNT roster, as speculated after her harsh criticism. Or maybe, she was just being honest.

It has to be difficult for an athlete to helplessly watch a team they used to star on struggle through a sort of transition period. The players were satisfied with their ability to survive and advance against Portugal. The fans were satisfied in knowing the USWNT was on to the next round. But Lloyd was offering a raw reaction to what she had deemed as being a regression over the last couple of years.

[The Athletic]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to