When an athlete reaches the level of success that U.S. women’s soccer team captain Carli Lloyd has, it’s almost assumed that after each victory, whether the World Cup final in 2015, or a Houston Dash game, she’ll thank her family for shaping her. With Lloyd though, it is quite the opposite.
On September 26, the 34-year-old will release her book When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World. On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated shared excerpts from the story which focused on her sacrifices for the game—focusing mainly on her relationships with her family.
When Lloyd was 21 years old she was cut from the U.S. Under-21 team. Being told she wasn’t national team material made the Rutgers soccer player debate going down different routes, maybe an FBI agent, maybe just hanging up the cleats. Her father, however, suggested that she reach out to a top trainer in the Jersey area, James Galanis.
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The story between Lloyd and Galanis is a known one—he ultimately shaped Carli, and for all of her success, he is who she thanks. The two worked for hours on end and still do to this day.
“For years my father has regarded James as all but a soccer messiah, but as I become more independent and start to make my own decisions, he begins to shift his viewpoint. My parents believe James is coming between us and they hold him responsible for my becoming an outcast in the mess that came out of World Cup 2007. As much love and gratitude as I have for my parents, I also believe all this unrest is not doing me any good. Every day I’m home it feels as if I’m tiptoeing through a minefield,” Lloyd wrote.
Lloyd eventually gets kicked out of her house in Delran, N.J., and mentions the feeling of returning to her home town after winning a gold medal in 2008 without anyone but her family knowing that she in fact doesn’t reside there anymore.
“I return home to Delran and there’s a parade and a big party. Nobody, of course, lets on that I’ve been tossed out of my own house. Energy is something that comes in finite supply, and James told me a long time ago that you can’t afford to waste any of it on drama. So I smile and wave and show people my gold medal, and then I go back to work. James and I have a saying: You have to empty the tank every time you’re on the field. The moment you think you have arrived, you are in trouble.”
The final portion of the excerpt shared is Lloyd thanking her family, however the strain is unavoidable and apparent.
[More from Excelle: Carli Lloyd and Jill Ellis celebrated at FIFA awards ceremony]
“When my father had open-heart surgery, nobody told me until well afterward. When my sister got married, I was not invited. I love my family and would like nothing more than to reconcile with them. Nobody has done more for me than my parents, who devoted untold amounts of time and money that allowed me to play the game I love. It’s no exaggeration to say I never would have gotten anywhere near a World Cup, an Olympics or even the U.S. national team without them. I have never forgotten that, and I never will.”
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) September 17, 2016
Lloyd has multiple stops on her upcoming book tour, kicking off in New York City and wrapping up in Houston the night before the NWSL Championship on October 8.