The striker still craves a chance in the NFL, but her focus is now on playing in the Olympics in 2021
United States women’s national team star Carli Lloyd admitted her ambition of becoming an NFL kicker may have to be parked for an extra year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-time World Cup winner has made no secret of her NFL dream, and she caught the eye last August when drilling a series of field goals while visiting a Philadelphia Eagles practice session.
USWNT veteran and long-time Eagles fan Lloyd is convinced she could become the first woman to play in the NFL.
Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen last year said he would be prepared to school Lloyd in the intricacies of kicking a pigskin with the precision she shoots a soccer ball.
But an unexpected stumbling block surfaced when the Tokyo Olympics had to be pushed back to 2021, meaning Lloyd, 37, will focus on her established sports career for a while longer.
Asked about the NFL plans, Lloyd said: “I’m focusing on soccer at the moment, but I’ve always been a kid who loves a challenge and I’ve never backed down from any challenge.
“I know with proper training and the right technique and someone showing me how to properly kick, I know that I can do it.
“It may have to get pushed a year or so. I know the times right now are a little up in the air, so we’ll see. I’m not ruling it out.”
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 20, 2019
The global health crisis has had a major knock-on effect on the sporting world, and Lloyd must stay on her game deeper into her thirties than she might have envisaged, to stay in with a shot of playing another Olympics.
She already has two gold medals, from the 2008 and 2012 Games.
Speaking in a streamed Yahoo and Women’s Sports Foundation event, she confirmed a determination to be a part of the US team in Japan.
Lloyd said: “For me now it’s another year to be able to prepare, to be able to push the boundaries, the barriers, of becoming more fit, stronger, to better my game, and I’m excited about it.”
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Despite the allure of the NFL, she may have stayed in soccer in 2021, anyway.
“It gives me another year, because I didn’t think I was going to be ready to be done after this year, so I get another year to play,” she said.
“Everyone’s talking about the age. It’s a year later; it’s not going to make much difference because I’m feeling at the top of my game and feeling really, really good right now.”