Monday, 15 Apr 2024

Carli Lloyd’s Legacy: A Look at the Top 10 U.S. Women’s Soccer Players in History

In the world of women’s soccer, Carli Lloyd is a true legend. As she prepares to retire from the U.S. women’s national team, it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on her incredible career and examine where she stands among the greatest players in U.S. women’s soccer history.

Lloyd’s accomplishments are remarkable. She has surpassed significant milestones, such as scoring 100 goals and earning 300 caps. While she may not hold the record for most games played or goals scored, her impact on the sport is undeniable. As fans gather at Allianz Field in Saint Paul for her final match, it’s a chance to pay tribute to one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Carli Lloyd’s Historical Context

To put Lloyd’s legacy into perspective, we must consider the remarkable players who have represented the U.S. women’s national team over the years. One such player is Alex Morgan, who describes Lloyd as having “just had an incredible career, so much success,” and as an ultimate professional and role model for young players.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 U.S. women’s soccer players in history, starting with the following players:

Carli Lloyd - Alex Morgan - USWNT - 2019 Women

10. Alex Morgan

  • Position: Forward
  • Caps: 188 (2010-present)
  • Goals: 114
  • Titles: World Cup (2015 & 2019), Olympics (2012)

Morgan’s rise to prominence was unconventional compared to other top players. Her game-changing moment came in a last-chance qualifier against Italy, where she scored a crucial goal just eight months after her debut. Since then, Morgan has been a key forward for the team, scoring goals at both World Cups and the Olympics.

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9. Hope Solo

  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Caps: 202 (2000-2016)
  • Shutouts: 102
  • Titles: World Cup (2015), Olympics (2008 & 2012)

Comparing goalkeepers to field players is challenging, but Solo’s ability to make crucial saves in important matches cannot be overlooked. Despite personal behavior issues leading to suspensions, her talent and agility as a goalkeeper are undeniable.

8. Becky Sauerbrunn

  • Position: Defender
  • Caps: 195 (2008-present)
  • Goals: 0
  • Titles: World Cup (2015 & 2019), Olympics (2012)

Sauerbrunn’s addition to the team as a central defender brought stability to the defense. With her leadership and organizational skills, the U.S. has allowed an average of 0.83 goals per game in major tournaments. Her impact on the team is immeasurable, even if it may not be reflected in the statistics.

7. Megan Rapinoe

  • Position: Forward
  • Caps: 185 (2006-present)
  • Goals: 61
  • Titles: World Cup (2015 & 2019), Olympics (2012)

Rapinoe’s career had a slow start due to knee injuries, but she quickly made her mark. Her cross to Abby Wambach in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals led to a game-tying goal, keeping the U.S. in the tournament. In the 2019 World Cup, she showcased her skills on and off the field, winning the Golden Ball and FIFA Best Women’s Player awards.

6. Christie Rampone Pearce

  • Position: Defender
  • Caps: 311 (1997-2015)
  • Goals: 4
  • Titles: World Cup (1999 & 2015), Olympics (2004, 2008 & 2012)

Rampone became a regular starter in defense after the 1999 World Cup. Her reliability and leadership qualities led to her appointment as team captain in 2008. With her in the center of defense, the U.S. allowed less than a goal per game in seven major tournaments.

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5. Kristine Lilly

  • Position: Forward
  • Caps: 354 (1987-2010)
  • Goals: 130
  • Titles: World Cup (1991 & 1999), Olympics (1996 & 2004)

Lilly’s defining moment came in the 1999 World Cup final when she cleared a ball off the goal line, keeping the U.S. in the game. She holds the record for the most national team appearances, and her consistency and versatility are unmatched. Lilly’s impact on women’s soccer cannot be overstated.

4. Abby Wambach

  • Position: Forward
  • Caps: 255 (2001-2015)
  • Goals: 184
  • Titles: World Cup (2015), Olympics (2004 & 2012)

Wambach’s crucial goals in the 2004 Olympics and 2011 World Cup quarterfinals against Brazil have become iconic moments. She was an exceptional center forward, dominating with headers and showcasing skill with her feet. Wambach ranks second on the all-time women’s soccer goals list.

3. Carli Lloyd

  • Position: Midfielder / forward
  • Caps: 315 (2005-present)
  • Goals: 134
  • Titles: World Cup (2015 & 2019), Olympics (2008 & 2012)

Carli Lloyd’s journey to greatness wasn’t a smooth one. She made her mark in the 2008 Olympics, scoring the gold medal-winning goal in extra time. Lloyd’s ability to perform in big games became evident throughout her career, earning her a reputation as a clutch player. Despite facing setbacks and reinventing herself as a forward, Lloyd’s determination and hard work propelled her to score 28 goals in the final three years of her career.

2. Michelle Akers

  • Position: Forward / midfielder
  • Caps: 153 (1985-2000)
  • Goals: 105
  • Titles: World Cup (1991 & 1999), Olympics (1996)

Akers’ dominance in the early years of women’s soccer may be overlooked, but her impact on the sport cannot be understated. She played a crucial role in the 1991 World Cup victory, scoring 10 goals. Despite injuries and chronic fatigue syndrome, Akers left a lasting mark on the U.S. women’s national team.

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1. Mia Hamm

  • Position: Forward / midfielder
  • Caps: 276 (1987-2004)
  • Goals: 158
  • Titles: World Cup (1991 & 1999), Olympics (1996 & 2004)

At the top of the list stands Mia Hamm, a pioneer of women’s soccer. Hamm’s skill and contributions to the game helped popularize the sport in the United States and beyond. With an impressive record of 158 goals and 144 assists, Hamm’s impact on the U.S. women’s national team is immeasurable.


Q: Where can I find more information about the U.S. women’s national team?

A: For more information about the U.S. women’s national team, including player profiles, match statistics, and historical data, visit Pesstatsdatabase.

Q: Who holds the record for the most goals in international women’s soccer?

A: The record for the most goals in international women’s soccer is held by Canada’s Christine Sinclair.

Q: Has Carli Lloyd won any individual awards during her career?

A: Yes, Carli Lloyd has won several individual awards, including the FIFA Best Women’s Player and FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball.

Q: How many World Cups has the U.S. women’s national team won?

A: The U.S. women’s national team has won the FIFA Women’s World Cup four times, in 1991, 1999, 2015, and 2019.


Carli Lloyd’s legacy as one of the greatest players in U.S. women’s soccer history is secure. Her ability to deliver in big moments and her unwavering dedication to the sport have earned her a place among the legends. As she bids farewell to the national team, we celebrate her remarkable career and look forward to the next generation of talented players who will follow in her footsteps.