USA star Carli Lloyd (pictured), the 2015 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year, has earned 242 caps. (Photo: Mexsport)
NEW YORK -- Carli Lloyd isn't worried about the recent form of the United States women's national team.
She says it will be all right when qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup is held in 2018.
The world-champion Americans have hit a few bumps in the road this year, finishing last among four teams in the SheBelieves Cup in March and second in the recent Tournament of Nations.
"It’s an off year, transitional year,” said the two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. “There are some experimentations going. If you remember 2014 or 2015, we lost to France, tied England. Everyone just remembers the 2015 World Cup.”
The U.S. captured the world championship in Canada that year.
In the recently completed Tournament of Nations, the U.S. lost to eventual-champion Australia (1-0) and rallied to defeat Brazil (4-3), before blanking Japan (3-0).
“You always want to be in peak form. You always want to be playing at your best,” Lloyd remarked. “But in order to continue to break barriers, you got to go a little bit backwards at times. You got to get the pieces back together again in order to jump up a couple of more levels. That’s where we’re at right now.”
U.S. head coach coach Jill Ellis is trying to establish greater depth in the squad, testing young players and veterans.
Lloyd concluded: “2019 is the true focus. I’ll take a loss in the SheBelieves and the Tournament of Nations in 2017 for another World Cup win.”