If it in fact turns out to be their final Olympic appearance with the U.S. women’s national team, that would be some way to go out. USWNT legends Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd each scored two goals in the USA’s final match at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, helping their team earn the bronze medal in a 4-3 win over Australia.
The 36-year-old Rapinoe got the first two U.S. goals and the 39-year-old Lloyd followed her up with two of her own, and was unlucky not to get the hat trick. After the game, the focus turned to both their futures and Rapinoe was first to address the obvious question:
Says she and Sue Bird will discuss their futures together once this is all over, that there will be some serious FOMO if one retires and starts going on vacations and the other is still out there grinding. Lol
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) August 5, 2021
As for Lloyd, she’s not made a final decision just yet, but it’s clear which direction she’s leaning:
Carli Lloyd, answering the expected question regarding her future, says the bus ride to this game was a little different. Talks about her mindset through the years. Concedes that obviously she is near the end of her career, but no decisions yet (as she has said before). #USWNT pic.twitter.com/nAWTeF1nbj
— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) August 5, 2021
Carli Lloyd: “I’ve had different mindset going into this one… obviously I’m at tail end of my career. At some point I have to hang up the boots and live life, my husband is eagerly awaiting for me to switch off.”
— Molly Hudson (@M0lly_Writes) August 5, 2021
Rapinoe scores olimpico goal & volley
A corner kick specialist, Rapinoe definitely meant to score the goal straight off this corner kick in the 8th minute. It’s called an ‘olimpico’ in soccer parlance and they are very rare at this level:
Players would be happy to score one of those in their career. Rapinoe has two of them … at the Olympics:
But some might feel that her second goal against Australia was even better than the olimpico. The degree of difficulty to place this ball and the coordination necessary to execute it is off the charts:
Rapinoe’s right foot is simply world-class, on par with Lloyd’s finishing.
Lloyd: New all-time U.S. Olympic scorer
As if not to be outdone, Lloyd scored two goals that were pure finisher’s goals. The first one came on a clinical diagonal shot in the box which was a lot tougher than she made it look:
And she pounced on a defensive mistake for her second, showing the ice in her veins as she coolly ‘megged the goalkeeper, becoming the USA’s all-time leading scorer at the Olympics with her 10th career strike.
It was the fourth Olympic tournament for Lloyd who previously featured in 2008, 2012 and 2016. For Rapinoe, Tokyo was her third. The next summer Olympics take place in Paris in 2024, when Lloyd will be turning 42 and Rapinoe will be going on 39 years of age.
Lloyd has amassed an incredible 312 appearances and 128 goals for the USWNT since debuting for the senior team in 2005. Only Kristine Lilly has more appearances in the program’s history (354 and 130 goals). Rapinoe’s national team career started in 2006 and she’s reached 185 appearances and 61 total goals.
Both players will get the chance to add to those totals in the U.S. women’s national team’s four-game post-Olympic tour. Then they’ll return to their club teams in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL): Rapinoe stars for OL Reign, based in Tacoma, Wash., while Lloyd plays close to home for NJ/NY Gotham FC. The NWSL regular season ends on October 30 and the champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the playoffs on November 20.