AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Carli Lloyd’s criticisms might make for good TV. To her old teammates, they’re little more than noise.
The former team captain, who is now with FOX Sports, has spent several days ripping the U.S. women. She’s questioned their preparation as well as their passion, saying the USWNT is no longer committed to winning.
Current captain Lindsey Horan pushed back on those opinions Thursday when asked specifically about Lloyd’s comments.
“I always want to defend my team and say, `You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. You have no idea, every single training, what we’re doing. Individually, collectively,’” Horan said. “For anyone to question our mentality hurts a little bit.
“But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really care. It’s what’s going on inside of here, what’s going on inside of the team.”
WORLD CUP CENTRAL: 2023 Women’s World Cup Live Scores, Schedules, Standings, Bracket and More
Lloyd has always spoken her mind, especially when it comes to what she sees as the failings of others. Former coach Jill Ellis was a frequent target when Lloyd was playing, and she made no secret of her opposition to the USWNT using its platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights and racial equality.
But her criticisms of the USWNT during this World Cup have struck many as too personal. Lloyd ripped the young Americans for taking selfies with fans and dancing on the field after they squeaked through to the round of 16 with a scoreless draw over Portugal, saying, “Winning and training and doing all that you can do to be the best individual player, that’s not happening.”
The USWNT came into the tournament hoping to become the first team, men’s or women’s, to win three consecutive World Cup titles. But they have not looked like a contender so far. This was only the second time the U.S. women have finished second in the group at the World Cup, and they advanced with their fewest points ever.
“It’s kind of frustrating for me to hear, especially knowing this team and knowing how much we put into every single game, how much preparation we put into every single game, seeing our trainings, seeing how hard we work,” Horan said. “You can’t question that we didn’t want to win the game. You can’t question that we weren’t working as hard as we could. We know that things could have been better. We know that we could have done more. We know that we could have scored opportunities.
“Again, it’s noise,” Horan said. “It’s an opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and we know that’s how it goes.”