Carli Lloyd wowed the soccer world in the Women's World Cup Final by scoring a hat trick, the third goal of which was a bomb from the halfway line. In the first 16 minutes of the match, Lloyd had essentially beaten Japan by herself, burying them with a ludicrous shot from midfield that sailed over Japan's goalkeeper's head to complete the hat trick.
SI's Grant Wahl broke down the history of the shot in a new article, noting that Lloyd has been practicing it for 12 years now. According to Wahl, in 2003, Lloyd was cut from the U.S. Under-21 team and began working with Australian coach James Galanis. One of Galanis' drills for Lloyd was to practice shots from midfield, bouncing the ball over training sticks around the penalty box.
Lloyd was skeptical at first — "I’m thinking, 'Who is going to shoot from midfield?'" she said — but she began trying the shot while playing on national teams as she got older. Galanis told Wahl, "She missed every time. A couple of times it went just wide, and one time she completely shanked it. But [that shot] was always part of her arsenal. It was just a matter of picking the right moment to unleash it."
After winning the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup earlier this month, the squad beat out male contemporaries - like the New England Patriots - to win the 'Best Team' award at the ESPYS on Wednesday night.
Team captain Carli Lloyd, 32, who led the ladies to a 5-2 victory over Japan with her stunning hat trick, accepted the award, telling the crowd it represented a lot of hard work. 'You guys believed in us the entire seven games. Since four years ago when we fell short to 10 days ago when we won it, we lifted the trophy, we did this for America and our fans, you guys are the best,' Lloyd said.
Lloyd continued: 'We love you so much, and I’m so happy that I have these girls to celebrate this with. It’s been the best 10 days of our lives.' Abby Wambach, Olympic gold medalist and member of the U.S. women’s soccer team, also said an acceptance speech.
'On behalf of whole team couldn't thank everyone who coudn't be here did it for america and fans we love u so much and I'm so happy that we have these girls to celebrate this with this has been best 10 days of our lives,' she said. 'Hopefully you can celebrate with us later tonight.'
U.S. Women's National Team forward Alex Morgan has undergone successful arthroscopic surgery on her right knee to remove a plica, which is a small fold in the lining of the knee joint. Morgan underwent the surgery Friday morning in Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old had been dealing with a bone bruise in her left knee in the months leading up to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, but still managed to appear in all seven of the USA's World Cup games and start in the later stages of the international tournament as the USA won their first World Cup title since 1999.
While the injury in her left knee was resolved, irritation in her right knee led to the need for her to undergo surgery. Morgan has dealt with a slew of injuries since 2013. She injured her left ankle in October 2013 and, after the injury was initially misdiagnosed, ended up sustaining a stress reaction in her talus bone and missing seven months. She then injured the same ankle during the World Cup qualifiers in October of 2014 and did not return to the field until February.
Morgan's knee surgery is considered minor and she is expected to return to the field with the Portland Thorns in 3-4 weeks. She will return to Portland to begin rehabilitating from the injury immediately. She may also be available for the start of USA's post-Women's World Cup tour that will span 10 matches across the country and begin on Sunday, Aug. 16, against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Less than a week after taking home the World Cup title, Abby Wambach said she wasn’t in the place to determine whether or not she’s going to hang up her cleats.
“Right now I’m so tired, I’ve never been this exhausted in my whole life,” she told Dan Patrick. “Just doing stuff, flying around the country … I haven’t even had time to consider what that would look like, what that would mean.”
Wambach said she would discuss with the coaches about her future and place with the team and consider if she could be a player that comes off the bench, as she was for the World Cup. “Right now, I’m so tired. Like, I’ve never been this exhausted in my life, just doing stuff, flying around the country, appearances and whatnot,” Wambach said. “I literally—and I’m not even kidding you—I haven’t even had time to consider what [retiring] would even look like, what that would even mean. I just want to soak this all in.”
“Am I the type of player that can come off the bench? I don’t know,” Wambach said. “Obviously, I know that I was able to do it in the World Cup, but when you’re in it, you've just got to go with the flow. Otherwise, if the you-know-what hits the fan inside a World Cup moment, that could be the thing that ruins it for the team. And I wasn’t going to do that. “I am a competitor, I want to play as much as the next person. But I also have to be a realist, that my body is not getting any younger.”
Portland Thorns set a new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) attendance record with 21,144 spectators attending their match against local rivals Seattle Reign on Wednesday.
The best supported team in the USA’s professional league announced they had sold-out Providence Park earlier on Wednesday prior to gates opening. The figure beat the Thorns own NWSL record but fell short of the highest domestic crowd recorded Stateside in 2001 when 34,148 spectators attended Washington's RFK stadium where 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ superstars Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were the star attractions.
On this occasion in Portland fans witnessed multiple Canada 2015 stars line up for the local team including World Cup-winning midfielder Tobin Heath, plus her Stars and Stripes’ team-mate Megan Rapinoe for Seattle. However, it was to be the visiting Portland who came out on top thanks to a lone goal from prolific Scotland striker Kim Little.
The result keeps Seattle in second a point shy of leaders Chicago Red Stars who won 2-1 at Boston Breakers earlier in the day. The two northwest sides will meet again in Seattle on Saturday with that match also close to a sell-out. The record crowd in Portland follows last weekend’s NWSL round where three of the four matches attracted capacity crowds, while the previous week saw a club record sell-out crowd of over 13,000 for Houston Dash's home fixture.