Carli Lloyd (left) and Abby Wambach play for the USWNT in the 2011 World Cup final. Alex Livesey – FIFA / FIFA via Getty Images
Carli Lloyd made her 300th career appearance for the US women’s national team on Saturday.
Only two other footballers – both retired American female stars – have managed the rare feat.
U.S. all-time top scorer Abby Wambach told Insider she wasn’t surprised Lloyd made it.
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Carli Lloyd competed for the US women’s national team for the 300th time on Saturday afternoon, joining an exclusive group of just three women’s soccer legends, all of whom played for the US and have ever achieved the remarkable feat.
Carli Lloyd. AP Photo / Steve Luciano
And while it’s undoubtedly an incredible feat, Abby Wambach, who, despite being the USWNT’s top scorer to date, never made 300 caps in her illustrious career, was hardly surprising that Lloyd did it.
“Carli Lloyd – she is a real specialist,” said Wambach to Insider. “I don’t know if there was another person who was just as committed as Carli.”
Wambach, who returned to her hometown of Rochester, New York, this weekend to surprise local youth athletes at the opening of DICK’S Sporting Goods’ first House of Sport store, was already a star for the USWNT when Lloyd first launched it Mal made an appearance for the team in July 2005.
Abby Wambach participates in a Q&A during the opening of DICK’S Sporting Goods’ first House of Sport store. Sporting goods from DICK
Early on, she said, Lloyd’s unsurpassed commitment to her craft was evident. No wonder then that the prolific striker is still intensifying the USWNT’s dynamic offensive, two World Cup victories, two Olympic gold medals and 16 years later.
“I saw her grow into this professional player right from the start,” said Wambach. “When she turned on her professionalism, she never looked back. That’s why she’s still a player. That’s why she still plays 300 international football matches.”
According to US Soccer, Lloyd spent a whopping 20,870 minutes on the field in these 300 missions. She could have flown from California to Japan 25 times, run 98 marathons, watched 696 episodes of the office, or shot to the moon and back twice in the same amount of time.
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Abby Wambach (right) hands over the bracelet of the USWNT captain to Carli Lloyd. Chris Graythen / Getty Images
And none of them were an empty minute, insisted Wambach. During her long tenure in Stars and Stripes, Lloyd was instrumental in the gritty, self-sacrificing style of play that has long made the USWNT the most dominant football team in the world.
“By the way, one thing you need to know about Carli, she’s not just standing on the field like me as a striker,” said Wambach. “She was a midfielder who had the ground under her feet, had tackles and put her body on the line. And everyone knows that from those 300 games she has scored many good goals for our country.”
“I’m so happy that she can get the number 300,” she added.
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