Full Name: Carli Anne Lloyd
Born: July 16, 1982
Height: 170cm (5 foot 7 inches)
Hometown: Delran, New Jersey
Position: Center Midfielder
International Debut: July 10, 2005, against Ukraine
Best Moment: Winning the 2015 World Cup
Most Significant Influence: My trainer, James Galanis – Owner of Universal Soccer Academy
Career Highlight: Winning the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal
US Soccer Player of the Year, World Cup winner x 2, World Cup Golden Ball Winner, FA Cup Champion (Manchester City), FIFA World Player of the Year x2, CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year
Carli Lloyd was born July 16, 1982. She grew up in Delran, New Jersey, where she would play pickup soccer games with the Turkish boys who live in the town. Growing up, she was very athletic and played basketball, softball, swimming, and golf. However, soccer was always her number one passion. Carli had a brother named Stephen, and a sister, Ashley. She attended Delran High School before going to Rutgers University between 2001 and 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies. Lloyd married her high school sweetheart Brian Hollins in November 2016. They still reside in South Jersey.
In 2017 President Obama named Carli a member and Co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Carli Lloyd published a best-selling memoir in the fall of 2016 titled “When Nobody Was Watching.” Carli serves as a mentor and mental toughness coach for her former youth club, the Medford Strikers.
Carli and James Galanis, president of Universal Soccer Academy, started working together in 2003. James designed a program specifically to turn her into the best player in the world. His ability to continuously create an environment to challenge her and help her improve is astonishing. He also is a master in the psychological components of the game. As a result, James has turned Carli into a player with a strong mind that can thrive in pressure situations. Now retired from international soccer, Carli Lloyd now runs her soccer clinics to support the next wave of US soccer stars.
An Interview With Carli Lloyd
How did you become interested in soccer? Did you always think you would play at the professional level?
Like many kids, everywhere I went, I carried a soccer ball with me. But, I didn’t think I could make it as a professional until my college years. Then, in my senior year, I realized I could play pro and teamed up with my trainer, James Galanis of Universal Soccer Academy. He developed a plan to reach the next level, and I stuck to it and kept working to achieve my goals.
What’s your most memorable moment on the field?
It would have to be my second goal against Japan in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game. It turned out to be the game-winner, and winning that goal medal was for sure the most memorable moment of my career.
What was it like playing soccer at the Olympics?
It’s an indescribable feeling. Knowing that the entire world is watching and being among the world’s greatest athletes is what athletes dream about. So to be able to experience that was truly special.
Aside from the competition aspect, what makes the Olympic experience so memorable?
It was a unique experience to meet other athletes in the Olympic Village and hear and share stories of the sacrifices they made to get there. I also really enjoyed taking in the experience of watching other events and touring the host cities and the village.
What keeps you motivated as an athlete?
My secret has been that I have one of the best environments in the country at the Universal Soccer Academy, where I can always go to improve my game continuously. I am blessed that I’m in an ongoing program designed to keep me motivated and to improve. No one can do it by themselves, so having a great support system is invaluable.
Do you have a message you would like to send out there for other female athletes?
We are blessed with so many opportunities as female athletes due to Title IX, and it’s fantastic that young girls can aspire to reach their highest athletic goals and have female role models along the way. If you have a dream of becoming a professional athlete, it can be done. It will undoubtedly take hard work and sacrifice, and you will surely hit obstacles along the way, but if you want it bad enough, you can achieve it.
What have you learned from your soccer career that you apply to other areas of your life that other people can take away from?
Two important lessons I have learned are never to give up and always try to outwork people.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing soccer?
I love shopping! It’s my release sometimes. I also enjoy watching movies and hanging with my husband, Brian.
Big thank you to Carli Lloyd for answering our questions and we wish her the best for the next phase of her incredible life.