USWNT soccer roster for 2021 Olympics announced: Carli Lloyd leads way

Carli Lloyd is going to celebrate her 39th birthday with a trip to the Tokyo Olympics. 

The two-time World Cup and Olympic champion was among the 18 players on the U.S. roster for the Tokyo Olympics that was announced Wednesday morning. Lloyd turns 39 on July 16, breaking Christie Rampone's record as the oldest U.S. woman to play in the Olympic soccer tournament by almost two years. 

The Americans are trying to become the first reigning World Cup champions to win the Olympic title. They begin group play July 21 against old foe Sweden, which knocked them out in the quarterfinals in Rio, their earliest exit ever at a major tournament.

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Carli Lloyd is a two-time Olympic and World Cup champion.

Of the 18 players headed to Tokyo, midfielder Kristie Mewis is the only player who wasn't part of the U.S. team that won the World Cup two years ago. She and younger sister Sam will be the first sisters to play for the U.S. at an Olympics or senior-level World Cup.  

"We know there are some very talented players that won’t be in Japan, but these were the difficult decisions that we had to make,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “We have a very experienced roster that has been through adversity at the highest levels."

No one fits that description better than Lloyd.

Relegated to the bench at the 2019 World Cup, the two-time FIFA Player of the Year had said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue to Tokyo. But a coaching switch – Andonovski replaced Jill Ellis in October of that year – and the year postponement of the Olympics because of COVID-19 has rejuvenated Lloyd, who said earlier this month that her game is now at a “whole other level.”

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