Carli Lloyd: a two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, a World Cup winner, a double Olympic champion...
Carli Lloyd has enjoyed a glittering career... but what shaped her journey to success?
In her insightful autobiography 'When Nobody Was Watching', the USA captain describes her path to stardom and the obstacles she had to overcome to achieve greatness.
In it, we discover the thoughts of the people who helped her along the way. Here's why City fans should be excited...
Karen Thornton, Delran Dynamite coach
"Carli internalized everything. I only had to say something once and then she went out and did it. She was the first one at practice every time, with the ball under her arm, ready to go. She was never one of those kids who sang songs on the bench. She was there to play and play her best."
Jerry Smith, Santa Clara coach
"When players come into their first camp, there are certain things I am looking for – a mentality as much as anything. Everybody on the national team is a good athlete and most of them are skilful. What determines whether you are going to make it is the mental side, and that is what impressed me about Carli from day one.
"She played with a confidence that said, ‘I have no fear. I don’t have fear of success, and I don’t have fear of failure. I can do whatever you want me to do. Now let’s go.’
"After I watched Carli in her first full day, I said to myself, Holy smokes, this kid just got here, and she isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She’s taking people on. She’s attacking the goal. She might just be the best player here."
Chris Petrucelli, USA Under-21s coach
"It was clear that soccer had become her ultimate focus. You saw it every day. It was like she became a pro. Lots of kids out there say, ‘I want to be in the U.S. national team.’ Then there are kids who say, ‘I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be on the U.S. national team,’ and that; where Carli was."
April Heinrichs, USA coach
"There were a lot of conversations among the staff about how well Carli strikes the ball. It was so technically perfect, with both feet, and that is so rare, even at this level. Her long-range passing was a real separator too. Lots of players can make the short-range pass, but Carli can hit it with precision fifty yards across the field.
"The more I watched her, the more I saw that the way she strikes the ball, dead center, makes it move in a way that is very difficult for a goalkeeper to handle. It reminded me of Michelle Akers. Here was a kid in her first national camp, and she struck the ball better than almost anyone who was already on the team It was impossible not to see that.”
Jill Ellis, USA Under-21s coach
"Julie [Shackford] was always telling me about this player at Rutgers who would carve them up when Princeton played them. She said, ‘She’s a one-man wrecking crew. Her name is Carli Lloyd and she just takes us apart.’ So that was the first time I heard Carli’s name.
"From the beginning I noticed that the kids from eastern New York and New Jersey, they just had this way about them. They had an aggressiveness, a confidence that bordered on arrogance, and I thought from the start that was very apparent in Carli."
Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated
"If a player trains when nobody is watching, she might be able to do superhuman things when the entire world is watching. Like scoring a hat-trick in the first sixteen minutes of a World Cup final, an eventual 5-2 victory over Japan. Or topping off that hat trick with an astonishing fifty-yard strike from midfield, the greatest goal in U.S. soccer history, a shot so audacious that it’s surprising to learn that Lloyd had actually practiced it for years with [James] Galanis on an empty field in New Jersey, far from any crowds."
Carli's book 'When Nobody Was Watching' and the children's version 'All Heart' are available to buy on Amazon.