For the past 15 years, there has been no one who has thrived under high pressure situations better than U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain, Carli Lloyd.
The two-time World Cup Champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year found herself making headlines for her kicking abilities yet again when she was invited by her favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles to practice. As practice wound down, Lloyd joined the Eagles and Baltimore Ravens’ kicking units.
Starting at the 25-yard line, Lloyd proceeded to kick field goals with ease.
It wasn’t until she sent a 55-yard field goal perfectly through the uprights that she created yet another social media frenzy in a viral video that has since been viewed by millions.
Kicking from distance has become Lloyd’s specialty, after all, she is the woman who scored a hat trick in a record 16 minutes to secure the USWNT’s third FIFA Women’s World Cup title, including the infamous wonder strike from over 50 yards away in 2015.
The field goal heard around the world has garnered so much attention that Lloyd may be adding to her extensive resume with multiple NFL teams having serious interest in signing Lloyd to become a kicker – and the interest is reciprocated.
“I think anything’s possible, and I think I would be foolish to maybe not entertain the idea of possibly not doing it,” Lloyd said to the press ahead of the USWNT’s Victory Tour stop in Philadelphia.
If Lloyd does decide to sign with an NFL team, she would etch her name into the history books yet again, this time by becoming the first ever woman to play in a NFL game and opening the door for other women to do the same.
The concept of 37-year-old woman entering the NFL, world class athlete or not, seems incredibly far-fetched, however as a former female athlete, the fact that she has even been considered seriously in one of the most male-dominated sports and fan bases in football has been a very welcoming step forward toward equality in sports.
Lloyd, along with her 27 other US Women’s National Team teammates, are currently suing the U.S. Soccer Federation over unequal wages between the men’s and women’s national teams.
The lawsuit appeared to be headed toward mediation but in early August took a turn when talks fell through, and now appears to be headed toward a jury trial.
Even if it doesn’t pan out, and Lloyd continues to lace up her boots for the soccer pitch and not the football field, seeing a woman succeed and excel in a “man’s sport” is a moment I’ve wanted to see for my entire life.
Never in a million years would I have thought that a woman could be on a field with 300-plus pound grown men – until this week.
Women playing football is becoming more and more common in lower levels, but the fact that the NFL is becoming welcoming toward allowing women in its sport gives me hope that one day soon we can expect to see a female athletes on the same spectrum as a man.