A look at a women's national team training session ahead of their match versus Italy with a focus on midfielder Carli Lloyd, otherwise known as the Princess. Lloyd certainly doesn't play like a Princess, that's for sure. In fact, you might say that Lloyd is the hardest working player on the soccer field most of the time. She also happens to score some of the most important goals at the most important times.
Lloyd credits a lot of her success to her trainer James Galanis, who told her to "treat every training session, every game, as if it were a World Cup final." That seems like some very good advice.
From the celebrated star of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, an inspiring, uplifting, and candid memoir of how she got there:
“If a player trains when nobody is watching, she might be able to do superhuman things when the entire world is watching. Like scoring a hat trick in the first sixteen minutes of a World Cup final, an eventual 5–2 victory over Japan. Or topping off that hat trick with an astonishing fifty-yard strike from midfield, the greatest goal in U.S. soccer history, a shot so audacious that it's surprising to learn that Lloyd had actually practiced it for years with [James] Galanis on an empty field in New Jersey, far from any crowds.” – Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated
In 2015, the U.S .Women’s National Soccer Team won its first FIFA championship in sixteen years, culminating in an epic final game that electrified soccer fans around the world. It featured a gutsy, brilliant performance by team captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, who made history that day, scoring a hat trick—three goals in one game—during the first sixteen minutes.
But there was a time when Carli almost quit the sport. In 2003 she was struggling, her soccer career at a crossroads. Then she found a trusted trainer, James Galanis, who saw in Carli a player with raw talent, skill, and a great dedication to the game. What Carli lacked were fitness, mental toughness, and character. Together they set to work, training day and night, fighting, grinding it out. No one worked harder than Carli. And no one believed in her more than James. Despite all the naysayers, the times she was benched, moments when her self-confidence took a nosedive, she succeeded in becoming one of the best players in the world.
This candid reflection on a remarkable turnaround will take readers inside the women's national team and inside the head of an athlete who willed herself to perform at the highest levels of competition.