Former US Soccer Star Blames Team’s Early World Cup Exit on Players’ Growing ‘Entitlement’

U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe / Getty Images
August 9, 2023

A former U.S. women's soccer team member attributed the team's early exit from the World Cup this year to "entitlement" in the team culture.

"There's a level of, not everybody, but there’s a level of just kind of the entitlement of, ‘Everybody’s gonna do everything for you,’ and just not being respectful of others," former player Carli Lloyd said on a podcast hosted by former soccer player Alexi Lalas.

From 2018 to 2020, Lloyd co-captained the national team with Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, the latter of whom missed a crucial penalty kick on Sunday that resulted in the team's elimination from the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Rapinoe is an outspoken advocate of left-wing politics and equal pay for men and women sports teams. Another former teammate, Hope Solo, said in 2021 that Rapinoe would "bully" members of the team into kneeling during the national anthem.

"I've seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling," Solo said at the time. "It's our right as Americans to do it whatever way we're comfortable with and I think that's really hard being on the main stage right now with so many political issues for athletes."

Lloyd said during this week's podcast that the team has a problem with "not being respectful of others."

"I think when I first got onto the team, there was just a level of respect for everybody there," Lloyd said. "For coaches, for other players, for support staff. You know, massages, trainers, doctors. And as the years have kind of gone by—it’s little stuff, but it kind of amounts to big things—and ultimately affects on the field."

Rapinoe has received widespread criticism, especially from conservatives, for bringing politics and division to the game.

Solo said in 2021 that Rapinoe's fight for "equal" pay backfired.

"We were so close to achieving equal pay in 2016; it was offered to us, we were about to sign the contract," Solo said. "But Megan Rapinoe and the leaders of that team signed a less-than-equal [collective bargaining agreement], which is concerning for the overall class-action suit and the overall fight."

Published under: Megan Rapinoe