More than 700 welcomed the U.S. women’s national soccer team star to campus
“Carli Lloyd is coming to Conn!” the crowd of more than 700 members of the College and greater New London communities sang in full-throat Monday at Connecticut College, to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
The enthusiastic holiday audience welcomed the U.S. women’s national soccer team star in Palmer Auditorium, where Lloyd discussed the challenges and opportunities of her career, her heroic effort in the 2015 Women’s World Cup and her new book, When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World.
“It’s been a great journey,” she said, “but it’s been a lot of work.”
During the event, which was sponsored by the College’s women’s soccer team, Lloyd traced her early career as a rising prodigy to being cut from the under-21 national team, a move that almost caused her to quit the sport. Rather than allow her to give up, she said, her parents enlisted the help of trainer James Galanis, who Lloyd credits with sharpening her skills and improving her work ethic. She landed a spot on the U.S. national team, eventually became the captain of the squad and, in 2015, was named FIFA Women’s Player of the Year.
With years of success under her belt, Lloyd said, her priorities have shifted as her career reaches its twilight.
“I’m taking the field so thankful and humbled for the success I’ve had, and I don’t feel like I have to prove anyone wrong anymore. I’m now trying to be an inspiration and a role model for younger players, and a great leader for my teammates.”
Many of those in attendance were young local soccer players. Lloyd spoke about the importance of having fun while learning the game and honing skills in the backyard with friends and family.