Carli Lloyd questioned the “heart” of the United States Women’s National Team following a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands. The team she once starred finds themselves in pretty uncharted territory. Lloyd, part of a United States Women’s team that scored a record-breaking 13 goals in a 2019 World Cup match against Thailand, has yet to see that type of firepower from the 2023 team. And she’s called it as she sees it.

The USWNT closes out their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage against Portugal early Tuesday morning. The Women’s team entered the tournament as favorites, as they looked to become the first team to ever win three consecutive World Cup titles.

It’s a do-or-die game, so naturally, Lloyd referred to it as being “must win.”

“It’s a young group. It’s an inexperienced group,” said Lloyd, now an analyst with Fox Sports. “There’s a couple of players like Megan Rapinoe, Kelly O’Hara, Alyssa Naeher, Alex Morgan, that have experienced when we’ve gotten into these moments in the past where our backs are up against the wall. And while the whole world may think that we’re not gonna get out of it, we always believed that we could. So, this group now has the opportunity to really show the world: can they do it? Can they live up to the expectation? Can they show that motivating side?

“If you are not motivated coming into a World Cup, playing in a first match or second match, you surely shouldn’t really be at a World Cup. So, it shouldn’t take Lindsey Horan getting angry from a couple of tackles with one of her club teammates, to really bring that fire. This is a must-win. They have to come out energized, motivated and get the job done.”

We’ll have to see if the team is up to the task when they take on Portugal Tuesday.

[Fox Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.