SportsPulse: How do you follow the most dominant performance in World Cup history? You crush Chile, of course.
PARIS — Of course Carli Lloyd isn’t happy.
She’s worked her butt off for the better part of 20 years, never once dogging it at a training session and spending countless more hours working on her own. If not for her, the U.S. women wouldn’t have gold medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and it was her hat trick that sparked the American romp to the World Cup title in 2015.
Yet here she is, coming off the bench at her fourth World Cup.
“If I was satisfied with that, I really shouldn’t be here because that’s just not who I am as a person and a player,” Lloyd said Friday. “I know that my ability is there. I know that if called upon and needing to play 90 minutes, I can do it. There’s honestly nothing there that’s holding me back except for the coach’s decision.”
That last part is the kind of statement that could tear a team apart, forcing players to take sides and spoiling the chemistry that has been months, even years, in the making. It could create such a distraction the team combusts well short of its goal.
And maybe if…