Carli Lloyd Running Sprints Alone Is Heartbreaking Image Of USWNT Defeat

The bronze medal match might serve as a curtain call for a few members of this USA team.

After a surprising 1-0 defeat to Canada ended the USWNT’s quest for gold in Tokyo on Monday, where does this squad go from here? Vlatko Andonovski assembled the oldest, most experienced U.S. side ever for this tournament, but the veterans all largely disappointed throughout.

The immediate focus will be on capturing bronze come Thursday against the loser of Sweden-Australia, but then the focus has to immediately shift to rebuilding this team ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Will Andonovski remain in charge? How many of the team’s veterans (Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Alex Morgan) will be there? The questions arrived early after the defeat.

“I feel like we haven’t had our joy a little bit,” Rapinoe said after the match. “It hasn’t flowed for us. It hasn’t been easy. We tried to find it. It’s not for lack of effort. It just didn’t click for us. I don’t know if it’s roster rotation but our roster’s deep as hell. We just didn’t have that juice that we normally do.”

One player who kept that effort up after the final whistle was Lloyd. The 39-year-old came on at halftime (moving level with Christie Rampone for second-most in USWNT history) and struck the crossbar with an 86th-minute header, but she was visibly crushed at the full-time whistle.

But moments later she could be seen doing sprints while Rapinoe got emotional talking about how her and Lloyd are “closer to the end than the beginning.”  

The bronze medal match is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 5 at 4:00 a.m. ET.

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