A crowd of 18,115 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn. stood and cheered for several minutes as local soccer legend Carli Lloyd left the field in her final international appearance against South Korea on Oct. 26. Lloyd is hanging up her boots after a legendary career that includes two World Cup title and a pair of Olympic gold medals.
Lloyd ranks second in the world for most-ever international appearances after having played in 315 career games. She has scored 134 goals with the U.S., third most in the history of the women's team. She became the first American to score in four different Olympics, and her 10 total goals in the event set a record among U.S. players.
In the 66th minute, Lloyd was subbed off for Alex Morgan, a move that Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski said was planned. She then took her cleats off on the field, passed the captain’s armband to Megan Rapinoe and acknowledged the crowd. Before stepping off the pitch, Lloyd removed her jersey to reveal a second jersey with her married name, Hollins.
"It's been emotional,” Lloyd said on the Fox broadcast. “But there's just a sense of peace and contentment that I feel -- it's just joy and happiness. It's been an amazing journey and I gave it all I had, and now I can walk away into the next chapter."
When she left the game, the United States led South Korea, 2-0. Lindsey Horan scored in the ninth minute, while South Korea’s Cho So-Hyun was credited with an own goal right before halftime.
Morgan, Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams added goals in the second half to make the final score 6-0.
"I'm excited to see the future of this team,” Lloyd said. “I'm saying goodbye on the field, but I want to continue to help in any way possible. I'm going to be the biggest fan, biggest cheerleader, and I want to see this team continue to succeed."