Congratulations to Carli Lloyd on an amazing soccer career that has touched so many who love the sport in our country and around the world.
The 39-year-old Lloyd ended her international career Tuesday night when the U.S. defeated Korea 6 to 0 in a friendly in Minnesota before a packed stadium.
And what a career it was.
Lloyd registered 316 caps, otherwise known as appearances, for the U.S., which ranks second-most of all time. She scored 134 goals, third most in team history and tallied 61 assists.
Lloyd was part of U.S. teams that won two gold medals in the Summer Olympics, and two FIFA World Cup titles.
She was a two-time FIFA World Player of the Year.
Her statistics match her efforts on the field. She was a hard-charging, no-nonsense type of player that would do anything to score and help her team win.
In the World Cup final in 2015 in Canada, Lloyd almost single-handedly defeated Japan when she notched a hat trick only 20 minutes into the match.
One of the goals was a brilliant half-field shot that she launched over the keeper's head to the amazement of the world.
A native of New Jersey, Lloyd played for the U.S. national team for 17 years. In that time, she inspired thousands of young ladies who love the game of soccer.
Not only were they impacted by watching Lloyd play and emulating her style, effort and commitment, many were often treated to personal appearances by Lloyd at camps and clinics across the country.
She was a fantastic role model and perfect ambassador for women's soccer, a sport that has grown tremendously in the past two decades.
Lloyd will finish her professional career later this year in the NWSL and will then turn to the next part of her life. She no doubt will remain an impact on the sport no matter what she does.
It was so fitting to see her receive the attention and adulation she did in her final match Tuesday night from a sold-out crowd of more than 18,000 and a national television audience.
Much fanfare was made of Lloyd's retirement and she was treated like soccer royalty, which she is and deserves.
Women's sports continue to grow more and more popular with each passing season, and it is wonderful to see. Athletes like Lloyd deserve a ton of credit for developing girls and women's sports and being the role models that they are.
It's nice to admire the Michael Jordans, Tom Bradys and Mike Trouts of the world, but we also should look at athletes like Lloyd, Simone Biles, Serena Williams, Sue Bird and so many other women as people to admire and aspire to be like.
Congratulations, Carli. Well played.