Carli Lloyd Scores 4 Goals On First 12 Touches As USWNT Takes Out Olympic Frustrations On Paraguay

After a disappointing third-place finish at the Olympics, the USWNT set out on what was supposed to be a victory tour of sorts with a pair of friendlies against Paraguay in September and two more against South Korea in October. With the U.S. only “celebrating” an unsatisfactory bronze medal, the four-time world champions took out their frustrations on a Paraguay squad that may have wished it had just stayed home.

Carli Lloyd scored five goals — four in the first half — as the USWNT ran roughshod over La Albirroja 9-0 on Thursday night in Cleveland, Ohio. If these games are to be the Carli Lloyd farewell tour before she retires at the end of 2021, she is certainly making the most of her final appearances. 

Lloyd was so dominant in the first 34 minutes she scored once every three touches, a mindboggling stat. She scored her first within three minutes and second in the sixth minute. Her final goal came in the 61st minute, with coach Vlatko Andonovski clearly leaving her on to add to her goals tally. It was the ninth time a USWNT player scored five in a game, the last when Alex Morgan did it against Thailand at the 2019 World Cup. 

Lloyd, 39, surged into third place on the USWNT’s all-time scoring list with 133, moving three past Kristine Lilly. That may have to suffice for Lloyd, with Mia Hamm still 15 goals ahead in second and Abby Wambach at 184 goals. Lloyd would need to play 41 more times to catch Lilly’s seemingly uncatchable record of 354 caps. Regardless of what you think of Lloyd off the pitch, her legendary status on the pitch remains nearly unmatched. Maybe Lloyd was upset not to be included in the FIFA 22’s Top 22 women's players

After the match, Lloyd admitted she shied away a bit from scoring a sixth, which would have been a USWNT record, despite fans chanting “we want six” in the closing minutes. Lloyd finished with five goals on 62 touches, an average of one goal every 12.4 touches. Eat your heart out, Erling Haaland

In her return to the USWNT, Mal Pugh had three assists in an hour of play. Andi Sullivan had two goals and was superb in the holding midfield role. Lynn Williams and Tobin Heath also scored. Sadly, Becky Sauerbrunn didn’t score, putting the center back at 194 caps without a goal. 

Paraguay’s worst-ever loss coming into Thursday was a 7-0 defeat to Japan earlier this year, the team’s only prior game in 2021. The U.S. matched that by the 49th minute when Andi Sullivan nodded in her second of the night. You have to wonder why U.S. Soccer even scheduled this match when the team would’ve had better competition with an intrasquad scrimmage, but I guess they made some money off ticket sales.

It was hard not to feel bad for Paraguay, so painfully overpowered by the greatest team in the history of the sport. Hopefully it encourages the Paraguayan federation to pump some more money into the women’s game to avoid future embarrassments.

Here are all the Carli Lloyd goals plus the others the USWNT tweeted out from the blowout. 

Carli Lloyd vs Paraguay Highlights

First Half Goals

Carli Lloyd 61’

Andi Sullivan 49’

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