Carli Lloyd becomes toast of America after hat-trick heroics down Japan

Obama invites victorious US team to White House after they avenge rivals in style

USA's World Cup winner Carli Lloyd has earned an invitation to the White House following her heroics in the final against Japan. Lloyd scored amarvellous 13-minute hat-trick, including the third from the halfway line as USA defeated the holders 5-2 in Vancouver, with the 32-year-old being named player of the tournament and finishing joint top scorer.

However, Germany's Celia Sasic took the Golden Boot having also scored six goals but in fewer minutes.

Lloyd turns 33 next week but is already targeting the next World Cup in France in four years’ time.

More immediately will be a trip to the White House to meet the soccer-loving family of President Barack Obama, who tweeted after the victory: "What a win for Team USA! Great game CarliLloyd! Your country is so proud of all of you. Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon."


The midfielder has no intention of resting on her laurels, however, and has her sights set on defending the trophy.

“I know what I’ve got left to achieve. I’ll be going for it at the next World Cup,” she said.

“I think my career has gone up a level, that’s for sure. There’s always room for improvement, though, and I know I have to keep on working hard.”


Lloyd, who plays her club football for Houston Dash, believes this team is the greatest the USA has ever produced.

“I’m convinced it is. What we’ve done is just legendary. It wasn’t an easy road but we finished first and unbeaten in the so-called group of death.

“We weren’t the best, and we came into the tournament second in the world ranking. We knew that nothing was going to be easy. What we’ve done is remarkable. It’s a historic performance.”

Lloyd had missed a spot-kick against Japan in the shoot-out in the final four years ago but erased those memories with a performance where everything went right.

Get better

“It’s something that maybe just happens once in your career, when everything you try comes off and nearly every shot goes in the back of the net,” she said.

“That penalty miss is a long time ago now. That’s the way it is. That’s what happens. I never really dwelt on it and I just turned the page and looked to keep moving forward in my career. We’ve spent every day trying to get better, and that’s what’s brought us here.

“Performances like that – and not just mine – come down to a lot of hard work and hours and hours of training and preparation for the big occasion.”

Barely 15 minutes had elapsed when Lloyd put the USA 4-0 up, completing her World Cup final hat-trick with a goal from the halfway line – a career peak surely beyond the dreams of any player, male or female.

Lauren Holiday had volleyed the third and though Japan pulled one back through Yuki Ogimi and another when Julie Johnston put through her own goal, Tobin Heath's goal eased any doubts over the result.

Jill Ellis’s side thus avenged their defeat in the 2011 final between these sides, to the delight of the majority of the 53,341 crowd in Vancouver.