Veteran United States women's soccer player Carli Lloyd revealed that she hit "rock bottom" over the past three years despite being a part of the country's journey toward winning the World Cup in France.
The 37-year-old, who's one of the most prolific scorers in the national program's history, said on the "Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy" podcast that she was frustrated by her diminished role under coach Jill Ellis. Lloyd's lack of playing time stemmed from a serious ankle injury suffered in 2017 and a switch from midfield to forward in the team's new 4-3-3 formation.
"I'm not going to lie and sugarcoat it," Lloyd said. "It was absolutely the worst time of my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with friends. It really was rock bottom of my entire career."
Lloyd appeared in all seven games at the World Cup - although six came as a reserve - and scored three times while providing an assist. In the process, she set a record as the oldest player to score two goals in a World Cup game, which came during her only start of the tournament in a group-stage match against Chile.
Considering her high level of play off the bench, the 2016 Best FIFA Women's Player award winner feels she should have been given more playing time.
"There’s no denying it," Lloyd said. "I deserved to be on that field that whole World Cup, but I wasn’t. ... It sucked. It absolutely sucked."
Now that Ellis has stepped down from her role as U.S. coach, Lloyd is turning her attention toward next summer's Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
"I hope a coach comes in that values me, respects me, wants me (as) a part of the Olympic plans," Lloyd said. “There’s no question my abilities are there. I'm able to do it. Physically I'm able to do it. I would love to be a part of it, but I want to have an open, honest conversation because if I’m not, I can't go through what I went through for three years."