Despite winning a second consecutive World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team forward Carli Lloyd said the past three years have not been the highlight of her career.
Lloyd joined ESPN's Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy podcast, where she spoke about her reserve role on the USWNT team after the 2016 Olympics.
"I'm not going to lie and sugarcoat it," Lloyd said. "It was absolutely the worst time of my life. It affected my relationship with my husband, with friends. It really was rock bottom of my entire career. But somehow, you see light at the end of the tunnel, and I can honestly say I'm having more fun now playing than I ever have in my career. I think I just learned a lot throughout it."
Lloyd said she suffered an ankle sprain with the Houston Dash in 2017 and missed playing time while the USWNT was learning a new formation under coach Jill Ellis. Despite working hard to learn the new system, Lloyd played mostly as a reserve during the 2019 Women's World Cup.
"There's no denying it," she said. "I deserved to be on that field that whole World Cup, but I wasn't. And I think I've grown as a person, as a player. It sucked. It absolutely sucked."
Lloyd played in all seven games of the 2019 World Cup but only started in one game against Chile in the group stage. She scored in her first two games and set a record for scoring in six straight World Cup matches.
After the World Cup ended, Lloyd attended the Eagles-Ravens joint practice in August and received lots of attention online after kicking an impressive 55-yard field goal. She has received offers to switch to a career in the NFL, and while she's considering it, she told ESPN she thinks she can still play soccer for a few more years.