Carli Lloyd: A Blue-Collar New Jersey Native

By: Meg Van Dyk

Carli Lloyd is akin to a racehorse with blinders on: well trained, bred for competition, wholeheartedly committed and singularly focused on the task at hand.

To much of the world this is the Carli that is known and loved, the competitive midfielder who punched her own ticket to stardom with hard work and dedication. But it’s all the little moments that very few ever get the chance to see that make up who she is.

And yes, Carli Lloyd is addicted to winning, but it’s the blue-collar humility with which she carries herself that has led her to where she is today.

“I’ve always been the type of player and person that has never settled for what I’ve previously accomplished,” Lloyd said. “Once I’ve accomplished something I quickly forget about it and move on to the next thing and that’s ultimately how I’ve been wired.”

The same can be said for anything that has come her way that has a typically negative connotation.

However, unlike most people, Lloyd has the unique ability to maintain a confidence in herself regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

“Throughout my career I’ve had people who have said that I can’t do this, or that I’m not good enough and so I have spent my entire career waking up every day dedicating my life to the game of soccer,” Lloyd said. “And I think that’s what’s great about it, the sky’s the limit, it’s up to the individual to determine how far they want to go in life.”

This should not come as a surprise to many as it is easy to see just how determined Lloyd is, it oozes from her in every move she makes on the pitch, dripping from her brow with every touch she takes.

But what may bewilder some is that despite all of this Lloyd considers herself a “low-key” individual, always being intentional to create a delicate balance between her hard-core exterior and the person she is off the field when the demands of the game begin to fade away.

“I’m not high maintenance, I don’t live this extravagant lifestyle, I’m a homebody at heart,” Lloyd said. “Yes, I’m extremely motivated, but I’m also as loyal as can be and trustworthy and I enjoy things like being home on a Friday night cuddled up on the couch with my husband, watching a good movie.”

Like most female professional athletes Lloyd tends to hold her cards a little closer to her chest than the average person. In a game of inches perception plays a vital role in the success of the athlete, because of this Lloyd always leads with the highly-competitive, determined side of her personality.  

But it’s the little moments when the focused and ruthless shell begin to chip away that one can really see Lloyd for who she truly is — a humble New Jersey native who just wants to play the game she loves without much care for the fame, chaos and noise.

Part of her next chapter includes being a part of a young roster with Sky Blue FC, a test which will require that mentality more than ever, a challenge that Lloyd openly welcomes.

“I don’t ever want to be in an environment where it’s easy,” Lloyd said. “I want things to be challenging and being able to come home to this roster fits the mold for that.”