After one game back with the Houston Dash, Carli Lloyd doesn’t like what she sees.
“I’m not sure what’s been going on for the last three months as far as training, but in my opinion, we’re not fit enough,” Lloyd told the Houston Chronicle after the Orlando Pride beat the Dash 4-2 in Houston on Saturday (June 17).
“If you’re not fit in this league and you can’t run all game long, especially in this heat, we’re not going to win games.”
Lloyd spent the spring in England, playing for Manchester City.
She has said repeatedly that she wouldn’t rule out a return to Europe next year.
Houston (2W-7L-0D) has lost six straight games and is in last place in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The reigning Women’s World Player of the Year left little doubt about who she blames: Randy Waldrum, who was fired as Houston’s coach in late May, when the losing streak was at four games.
With 15 games remaining in the regular season, she said, there’s still time for the Dash to turn things around and make the playoffs.
“We have the players. With the coaching change, there are really no excuses. We have to go out there and get the job done.”
At the time of Waldrum’s firing, Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer wrote that there’s been bad blood between the coach and his star player for at least a year.
After the 2016 Olympics, Lloyd missed the first Dash game for which she was eligible.
“Waldrum publicly questioned Lloyd’s commitment as she refused to divulge the reason behind her absence,” Lauletta wrote. “It eventually came to light that Waldrum knew all along that Lloyd would not be available that weekend…”
Lloyd is a famously relentless trainer. The title of her 2016 memoir is When Nobody Was Watching, a reference to the grueling hours she’s put in on the practice field and in the gym, rain or shine, hot or cold, at home or on the road.
Clearly, the work has paid off. Lloyd, who turns 35 next month, has 97 career goals with the U.S. women’s team, the sixth-highest total in team history. Sixty of those goals have come in her 30s.