As a midfielder, Lloyd always had a knack for scoring, even as she covered much more of the field. Now Ellis would like her to focus on that completely, utilizing her powerful shot, her strong aerial game and her innate cunning to fill the next year with goals.
“If you tell her that, ‘O.K., you need to score more goals,’ she’s going to score more goals,” the veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn said. “She’s going to do whatever it takes, and she’s going to have a chip on her shoulder.”
But she also offers something that her younger teammates do not: a deep reserve of big-game experience.
“It’s kind of like there’s all these different parts of the game — tactical, technical, blah, blah, blah — and then there’s just the ‘moments’ part, where you have to win or lose games, where you need people to step up,” Lloyd’s longtime teammate Megan Rapinoe said. “And she’s always been that person.”
Still, as she fights to remain relevant, Lloyd, a player responsible for so many big moments, has been trying to focus on the small ones, too.
“As you get older you get a little freaked out, and you want your life to slow down a little bit,” she said. “This final year or two, I want to live a little more in the present and enjoy each day and enjoy time with my friends and family and husband, and here with the team just enjoy the moment, whether the journey is easy or hard, savoring each day.”