No, Carli Lloyd's five-goal night isn't going to entice her to reconsider her plans to retire from soccer at the end of the year.
“Maybe, for a split second,” Lloyd said when asked it on her post-game media call following the 9-0 win over Paraguay in Cleveland. “And then I go back to reality.”
Still, her performance was amazing -- five goals on 62 touches to tie the USA's single-game scoring record. Four came in the first 38 minutes, the fifth came in the 61st minute.
Lloyd, who turned 39 in July, said she didn't know about the record chase until one of her coaches mentioned it to her at halftime. She was then asked if she remembered anyone else who scored five goals in a game. Of the eight others, she could only name Sydney Leroux, who scored five goals in a 13-0 over Guatemala in Olympic qualifying in January 2012.
None of them did it at the age of 39.
In June, Lloyd (then-38 years and 332 days old) became the oldest player to score a goal for the USA in a 4-0 win over Jamaica, her 125th goal in 302 international matches. Since then, her scoring rate has almost doubled with eight goals in 11 games.
Lloyd's 133 goals moved her in front of Kristine Lilly for third place on the U.S. career list behind only Abby Wambach with 184 goals and Mia Hamm with 158. Christine Sinclair holds the world record with 187 goals.
“She’s an absolute legend, just being on the field, she’s a threat, no matter who we play, when we play, where we play,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Her mentality is something that’s unseen. She’s just hungry for scoring goals, just hungry to get better, and whether we play for a medal or we play Paraguay, it makes no difference. She wants to score goals.”
Lloyd, whose two goals proved to be the difference for the USA in its 4-3 win over Australia in the bronze-medal game at the Olympics, has just three games left in her international career. She said she savored everything about Thursday's game before more than 14,000 fans.
"I think I heard everything the crowd said tonight," she said. "I've blocked everything out of my career. It's that laser focus where you block out everything."
Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire