Probably best known for her hat-trick against Japan in the 2015 final, it goes without saying that Carli Lloyd has been one of the best players for the USWNT the past ten years. But before her performance in the 2015 final, she showed US soccer fans what she was capable of in big games when she scored both goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match defeating Japan 2-1.
Following her historic 2015, she was named FIFA’s Player of the Year. Now in 2019, her career appears to be reaching its end, but Lloyd continues to get her name on the roster and will be looking to get perhaps her last major trophy in the upcoming 2020 Olympics.
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Julie Ertz began her time with the national team as a defender, but when former manager Jill Ellis experimented by putting Ertz in the midfield, she discovered a player that could not be replaced. In the 2015 World Cup, she was only one of five players to play every minute of the USWNT’s championship run and was named to the FIFA World Cup all-star team following the tournament.
A sore groin limited her time in the 2016 Olympics, but another World Cup opportunity came in 2019 when she was arguably the best player for the United States and was appropriately named US Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year for her incredible year.
One of the most versatile players the USWNT has ever seen, Lauren Holiday started her career as a forward but eventually joined the midfield and was still able to remain one of the best players in the world. Holiday started all six matches in the 2011 World Cup and notched two goals and two assists. The following summer, she appeared in all six Olympic matches but came off the bench in the gold medal match against Japan following a minor injury in the semifinal match against Canada.
In her final major tournament in 2015, she went out as a World Cup champion starting in six of the seven matches and scoring in the 5-2 victory over the previous champions Japan. Following the win, Holiday announced her retirement from the national team and concluded a career filled with silverware.