ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carli Lloyd left no doubt.
She hates her role as a super sub for the U.S. women’s national team.
“If I liked coming off the bench there would be something wrong,” Lloyd said. “That’s not my mindset.”
Lloyd may not like it, but she does it quite well.
The 37-year-old Lloyd scored twice and Alyssa Naeher got the shutout, helping the United States beat New Zealand 5-0 in a World Cup series send-off match on Thursday.
Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis also scored during Team USA’s second date in a three-match series leading up to the World Cup, which begins June 7 in France. The U.S. faces Mexico on May 26 in Harrison, New Jersey, in its final tuneup.
Lloyd, the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016, took her instant offense role to a new level, scoring on her first touch just 44 seconds after entering in the 60th minute. She converted a pass from Heath to push the lead to 3-0.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis prefers to use some younger, fresher legs in the starting lineup. But she said Lloyd is still the heart and soul of the team.
“Whether she’s a starter or coming in…