|Carli Lloyd celebrates after teammate Abby Wambach scores a goal in the first half against Nigeria in the Group D match of the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 at BC Place Stadium on June 16, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Odds are, you know the name Carli Lloyd. But you might not know a lot about the U.S. women’s national soccer team midfielder. With two Olympic gold medals — both of which were thanks to her winning goals in the 2008 and 2012 finals — the midfielder does most of her talking on the field.
Currently playing in her third FIFA Women’s World Cup — which started June 6 and goes through July 5 — the 32-year-old is hoping to experience what it feels like to win a World Cup title. But for the first time, her loved ones will not be there to witness it. Find out why her family, who were in the stands when Team USA placed third in 2007 and second in 2011, will not be in Canada — as well as five other fun facts you didn’t know about the Houston Dash soccer star.
5. She is engaged to a golf pro
Lloyd met her fiancé Brian Hollins growing up in Delran, New Jersey. They were both on their high school soccer teams and started dating while attending the same school. After 15 years together, the two got engaged and plan to get married after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“That way,” she said, “I’ll be able to have a clear head with nothing else to worry about.” The couple is thinking of tying the knot some time in the fall since, “Brian is in the golf business and November is kind of a slower time for him. I’ll have the World Cup and the Olympics behind me, and we’ll be able to enjoy the time together.”
4. She does not plan on becoming a “Bridezilla”
With all the hours spent on the road, Lloyd said it allows her the time to think about and plan for the big day. “It’s been fun to be able to take some time to focus on the wedding planning,” she said, “checking out some gowns and bridesmaids dresses. A lot of people say it’s a stressful thing, but I’ve been enjoying it.”
Another thing she enjoys is letting others help with the planning — hence the decision to have a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort. “Brian and I are pretty low-key as far as things like what color napkins we want, and the flowers and centerpieces.” Because of that, she said, a destination wedding was perfect because “there’s not really much to choose from — food-wise and décor. The wedding is more about getting together with the people who mean the most to us and not having to worry about anything else, which is nice.”
3. She is a daredevil at heart
Coming up with a honeymoon destination should be hard for someone who has traveled the world as much as Lloyd has. But according to her, her bucket list is as long as it is adventurous. “It’s different traveling the world with soccer versus going with friends or my fiancé,” she said. Because she is always worried about injuring herself, she can’t do a slew of the activities she really wants to do. “I would love to do a lot of adventure stuff: I have a four-wheeler — which has been put on hold — but I would love to cruise around on that. I definitely want to do ziplining at some point. And I want to get back to snow skiing. I used to do it growing up, but stopped because of soccer and the risk of getting injured.”
Some of the countries she would like to visit for pleasure, include: “Greece. And Spain. I would love to go to see a Barcelona match played live. I want to do an Alaskan cruise, and go to New Zealand.”
2. She didn’t use to be comfortable speaking in public
Growing up Lloyd admitted that she wasn’t “really comfortable going in front of a class and speaking.” She said it was in college, where she took her first public speaking class, that that all changed.
“As I’ve gotten older and I’ve been in front of people more, I’ve gotten used to it,” she said. Speaking in public is still out of her element, she said, because “it’s a different feeling than stepping out onto the field and doing what I do best. But I now enjoy speaking and telling people my story.”
1. She doesn’t have any superstitions, but…
Even though Lloyd has the same routine on game day — which consists of “what I’m eating, going out for a jog and stretch the morning of the game, and how I mentally get ready” — she does not admit to having any superstitions.
But whether or not she is superstitious might be another story. The two-time gold medalist has not invited her family to come watch her in Canada after she came to the realization that her two Olympic victories (in 2008 and 2012) happened when there was no family there to root her on. Unfortunately, her third-place finish at the World Cup in 2007 and second-place finish in 2011 in Germany happened when she had family in the stands cheering for Team USA.