Two-time Women's World Cup winner Carli Lloyd has announced she will retire from playing at the end of the year.

The 39-year-old has earned 312 caps for the United States and represented 11 clubs across a 22-year playing career, 12 of those as a professional.

Lloyd is one of four players to have played more than 300 times at international level and is in line to play her last match for USA in their September and October friendlies.

She will also see out the remainder of the National Women's Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before ending her career.

The New Jersey native hinted at her retirement following USA's defeat to Canada in the Tokyo Olympics semi-finals earlier this month and confirmed her decision on Monday.

"When I first started out with the national team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships," she said in a statement.

"Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long."

 

Lloyd played under five different coaches for the USA across three different decades and lifted the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, having finished as a runner-up in the 2011 edition.

Through her 312 caps, which also includes appearances at four Olympic Games, the USWNT have a record of 257 wins, 17 draws and 38 defeats for a win percentage of 88 per cent.

"I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime," Lloyd added. "I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years.

"I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation."

Lloyd is one of two Americans to win the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award on multiple occasions, doing so in 2015 and 2016. Mia Hamm was the other player to do so in 2001 and 2002.

USA football star Megan Rapinoe got to see her fiancee Sue Bird complete a stellar Olympic career with a fifth basketball gold medal - despite all crowds being banned in Tokyo.

Bird, 40, signed off her Games career in the United States' 90-75 win over Japan on Sunday.

At courtside was Rapinoe, who won a bronze on Thursday when she scored twice as the USA beat Australia 4-3 in the football third-place match.

Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2019 World Cup, first met Bird in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

They became a couple later that year and announced their engagement in October 2020.

When the USA clinched the basketball gold medal, Bird went to the side of the court and kissed Rapinoe, later revealing how her 36-year-old partner managed to gain access to the Saitama Super Arena.

"I'm very lucky," Bird said. "Obviously when your partner or your fiancee is also in the Olympics you would love to be able to go and support them, be around them, to give any kind of support possible.

"Megan somehow finagled a media credential and got herself in this arena today. We didn't really know it was going to happen until two days ago, it got confirmed. So I do I feel very lucky she was here to witness it, to share it with me."

Spectators have been blocked from attending venues at the Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with families of overseas athletes unable to travel to Japan for the Games, meaning Rapinoe was among the fortunate few to be in the arena.

"I just went over and obviously told her I loved her and told her I was tired," said Bird. "That was pretty much the extent of the conversation, and she told me she was happy and proud of me.

"Of course I'm so proud of her and her team for winning that bronze medal. The Olympics is hard. It's really hard. There's so much pressure involved and so to have both of us medal is something that I know we'll take that memory with us forever."

Rapinoe wrote on Instagram: "I am so proud of you @sbird10. As if I could love you any more. Congrats baby!"

Bird has ruled out playing on to Paris 2024, happy to settle for five gold medals, the first of which came in Athens at the 2004 Games.

"It really is hard to wrap your head around it, to grasp what it is," said the Seattle Storm star.

"Twenty years of staying true to the game, making sure you're at the top of your game, so much sacrifice.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen. We lost in 2006 [to Russia at the World Championship]. We tasted that and that's always been the driver.

"So when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

Megan Rapinoe scored direct from a corner as she and fellow United States veteran Carli Lloyd hit doubles to sink Australia 4-3 in the Olympic Games bronze medal game.

Australia's replies came from Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik in the seven-goal feast at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.

It was 36-year-old Rapinoe and 39-year-old Lloyd who stole the show, though, on what may prove to be farewell appearances for the superstar duo.

Whether they play on in the short term for the national team remains to be seen, but this was likely a final outing at the Olympics for both, and they went out in style.

Rapinoe opened the scoring in the eighth minute when her wicked in-swinging corner from the left evaded everybody and found the net.

Kerr levelled seven minutes later with her 48th goal for Australia – a new national team record – when her shot proved too powerful for Adrianna Franch, but it was soon Rapinoe's time again.

The standout player from the 2019 World Cup smashed in her second goal of this game on the volley, connecting sweetly from around 12 yards after Alanna Kennedy sliced an attempted clearance.

Lloyd, who became the outright second most-capped player in US history by making her 312th appearance, got in on the goals just before half time. Her thumping left-footed shot across goal found the right corner, putting the US 3-1 up.

Lloyd scored again in the 51st minute after another Kennedy error, this time a weak header back to her goalkeeper allowing Lloyd a clear run on goal, with the striker slotting home.

That made her the US team's all-time highest scorer in Olympic women's football with 10 goals. Lloyd won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, with Rapinoe also on the triumphant latter team in London.

Australia got back into this game with a header from Foord after 54 minutes, and Kerr headed against the left post two minutes later. Substitute Gielnik rattled in a delicious late third for Australia, but they could not find a fourth.

Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, with Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA had 17 attempts on Monday but a second defeat at the Games – they had gone down 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group fixture – means the reigning world champions will not have a chance to secure gold in Japan.

There was controversy surrounding the winning goal, too, as a VAR check resulted in Canada being awarded a penalty for a foul by Tierna Davidson on Deanne Rose in the 74th minute.

Substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who had replaced the injured Alyssa Naeher in the first half, guessed correctly but Fleming's penalty still found the net.

Canada stubbornly held on for the remainder of the contest to secure a first triumph over their rivals since March 11, 2001.

While USA can still claim a bronze medal, Megan Rapinoe did not hold back when assessing the impact of the result, particularly against opponents they have become accustomed to beating through the years.

"It's a bitter one to swallow. We never want to lose to Canada. I don't think I ever have, so it's a bitter one," Rapinoe said.

"Still a lot to compete for. It's not the colour we wanted, but there's still a medal on the line and that's a huge thing. We want to win that game, but this sucks. It sucks."

Asked why USA had struggled so much to find form during the tournament, Rapinoe replied: "I feel like we haven't had our joy a little bit.

"It just hasn't flowed for us, hasn't been easy. It's not for a lack of effort, or anyone not giving everything they have. It just didn't click for us.

"I don't know if it was roster rotation, I know it's a tough tournament when trying to save people, but our bench is as deep as hell. I don't think we can put it on that, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

"We just didn't have that juice that we normally do."

USA had been aiming to strike Olympic gold for a fifth time having missed out on a medal of any colour at Rio 2016, where they lost to Sweden on penalties in the last eight.

The Swedes lost to Germany in the final five years ago but could still go one better this year – they take on Australia in the second semi-final.

The United States and Canada will do battle in the semi-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after edging into the final four.

USA - winners of the Olympic tournament four times previously - managed to beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in their quarter-final after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Having finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major event for the first time in their history, the USA knew a much-improved display was needed against a Dutch side who scored 21 times in their opening three games, the most of any women's side at a single Olympics.

They duly delivered a strong display as they twice took the lead only for Vivianne Miedema to continue her sensational form, scoring twice to cancel out goals from Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams in an engrossing contest in Yokohama.

Megan Rapinoe swept the decisive penalty kick high into the net after Alyssa Naeher had made two stops to her right.


BRAZIL FALL SHORT AGAIN

Canada await USA after they inflicted further heartbreak on Brazil, whose wait for gold in this event goes on.

Beaten semi-finalists in Rio five years ago, Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw before suffering another defeat on penalties to the 2016 bronze medallists.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who was injured in the closing stages of extra time, recovered to make two critical saves in the shoot-out to secure a 4-3 win.

"In the moment, it was about trusting myself, trusting my instincts, and trusting my ability to make a save," she said afterwards.

"Pain is temporary. We have our eyes on the prize."

 

WHITE TREBLE NOT ENOUGH AS MATILDAS WIN CLASSIC

The stand-out quarter-final took place between Australia and Great Britain, a seven-goal thriller eventually ending in a 4-3 victory for the Matildas.

Two goals from Ellen White had turned the game on its head and looked to be enough to send Hege Riise's side through, but Chelsea star Sam Kerr levelled in the 89th minute with a crisp low strike.

The contest then swung Australia's way in a dramatic minute in extra time, Mary Fowler's deflected shot finding the top corner after Caroline Weir had a penalty saved at the other end.

Kerr scored another before White completed her hat-trick with a deft header to set up a frantic finale, with Australia just holding on for a famous win.

Remarkably, they overperformed in terms of expected goals by 3.2, their highest such figure at these finals.

Australia will contest their semi-final against Sweden, who ended Japan's quest for a medal on home soil with a 3-1 victory.

Mina Tanaka cancelled out Magdalena Eriksson's sixth-minute opener, but Sweden took control in the second half through further goals from Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani.

 

The United States will face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after being held 0-0 by Australia to finish second in Group G.

USA bounced back from a shock 3-0 loss to Sweden in their opening game with a 6-1 win against New Zealand, but they dropped further points in the round-robin stage on Tuesday.

Previously unbeaten in 44 games before that Sweden loss, USA failed to break down Australia's defence – Alex Morgan's disallowed goal for offside the closest they came to doing so.

Mary Fowler hit the crossbar for Australia and in the end a point apiece was a fair outcome, with the Matildas also advancing to play Great Britain in the last eight.

It is the first time in history record four-time winners USWNT have finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major global tournament.

 

RAMPANT DUTCH AWAIT USA

Sweden were already assured of a place in the last eight ahead of their clash with New Zealand and saw the job through with a 2-0 win at Miyagi Stadium to finish ahead of USA.

Anna Anvegard and Madelen Janogy were on target for Sweden before half-time and they saw out a straightforward win that condemned New Zealand to a group-stage exit.

It means USA will now take on the Netherlands in the next round in what is a repeat of the 2019 Women's World Cup final. The Netherlands lost that match, but they enter this latest showdown in superb form after thrashing China 8-2 in Yokohama.

Lineth Beerensteyn, Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema all scored twice in the one-sided affair, while Shanice van de Sanden and Victoria Pelova were also on target.

The Netherlands' tally of 21 goals from three games is already the most scored by a team in a single women's football Olympics event, surpassing the USA's 16 from London 2012.

HOSTS JAPAN SCRAPE THROUGH

Japan did all that they could in the final round of group games by beating Chile 1-0 through a Mina Tanaka goal 13 minutes from time.

That win took the tournament hosts to four points from three games, enough to send them through as one of the best third-placed sides, along with Australia.

Already through to the quarter-finals, Great Britain snatched top spot with a late 1-1 draw against second-placed Canada in Tuesday's other Group E match.

Caroline Weir's long-range free-kick with 84 minutes played took a heavy deflection and cancelled out Adriana Leon's opener.

Brazil also booked their spot in the knockout stages thanks to Andressa's first-half free-kick in their 1-0 win against the tournament's lowest-ranked side in Zambia, who lost Lushomo Mweemba to an early red card. 

The Selecao meet Canada in the quarters, while Australia await Great Britain.

The United States returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion to kick-start their bid for Olympic glory, while Barbra Banda tied a Games record with a second successive hat-trick for Zambia.

Sweden had sensationally put an end to USA's 44-match unbeaten streak at the start of the women's tournament, with Megan Rapinoe admitting the beaten world champions had "played a bit tight" in a 3-0 defeat.

However, Vlatko Andonovski's side responded impressively to that setback on Saturday, thrashing New Zealand 6-1 in Saitama, in the process registering their largest margin of victory in an Olympics fixture.

Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan gave USA a 2-0 half-time lead, the latter on target to mark her 100th cap. Further efforts from Christen Press and Alex Morgan added to the score after the break, while they were helped out by their opponents scoring two own goals.

It is the Swedes who sit on top of the table, though, as a strong second-half performance sealed a 4-2 triumph against Australia.

Meanwhile, Banda equalled the record for most goals scored by a woman at a single Olympics, matching Christine Sinclair's tally of six for Canada at London 2012 with another treble, this time against China.

Zambia's captain scored all her country's goals in a 10-3 loss to the Netherlands in their Group F opener. She followed up with three more in a thrilling 4-4 draw on Saturday, though China's Wang Shuang went one better as she hit four in a see-saw contest.

Vivianne Miedema later moved level with Banda on six goals at this Olympics. The forward had scored four as the Dutch crushed Zambia, then managed another two in a 3-3 draw against Brazil.

Ellen White continued her impressive start to the tournament with the winner as Great Britain defeated hosts Japan 1-0 to qualify for the last eight.

Having scored twice in the opening 2-0 win over Chile, White made it 13 goals in her past 14 international outings when heading in a cross from Lucy Bronze in the 74th minute.

Also in Group E, Canada overcame Chile 2-1 thanks to a brace from Janine Beckie, putting them second in the standings ahead of a clash with Team GB to finish the round-robin stage.

Reigning champions Brazil and 2016 finalists Germany have been drawn together in the group stages for the men's football tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Brazil secured the gold medal on home soil in Rio five years ago when defeating Germany via a penalty shoot-out, Neymar with the clinching spot-kick for following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

The two nations are together again in Group D, along with Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia, and are in the same half of the draw as Argentina and Spain, who are both in Group C.

Hosts Japan are joined in Group A by France, Mexico – who claimed the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – and South Africa.

Les Bleus will be involved in the opening match when they take on Mexico on July 22 at Tokyo Stadium, followed by Japan taking on South Africa at the same venue later that day.

In the women's event, the United States – winners of the 2019 World Cup - are paired with Sweden, who lost the 2016 final to Germany. Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand complete the line-up for Group G.

Japan will take on Canada, Great Britain and Chile in Group E, while the other pool contains China, Brazil, the Netherlands and Zambia.


Men's draw in full:

Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France.

Group B: New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania.

Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia.

Group D: Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

Women's draw in full:

Group E: Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile.

Group F: China, Brazil, Zambia, the Netherlands.

Group G: Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand.

Alex Morgan and her family are fighting back after catching COVID-19 in California over the festive season, the United States women's football superstar has revealed.

The 31-year-old, twice a Women's World Cup winner, left Tottenham last month after a three-month playing spell in England.

Although London has become a coronavirus hot spot, Morgan says she was back in the USA when the virus struck.

She wrote on Twitter: "Unfortunately, my family and I closed out 2020 learning that we had contracted Covid while in California over the holidays.

"We are all in good spirits and recovering well. After our isolation is completed, I will follow US Soccer's return to play guidelines to ensure my body is fully recovered and I can join my team-mates back on the field soon. Be safe and happy new year."

Morgan is married to former LA Galaxy and Orlando City footballer Servando Carrasco, and they celebrated a sixth wedding anniversary on December 31. Their first child was born last May.

The USWNT great signed for Spurs in September, having not played since August 2019 due to pregnancy and the disruption caused by the pandemic.

She made five appearances for Spurs in all competitions, scoring two goals. Morgan is a two-time Women's World Cup winner and has scored 107 goals in 170 appearances for the USA.

Morgan is expected to resume her club career with the Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), ahead of playing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Orlando retained the 31-year-old forward's NWSL rights when she made the short-term move to Tottenham.

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