Carli Lloyd was sick of losing.
At age 21, she considered quitting soccer after being cut from the U.S. under-21 team. “I’m a winner, and I want to go out there and win,” she said.
Her mentor told her how Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee had trained when nobody was watching, so she did the same. She trained twice a day, seven days a week, including holidays, knowing her competition did not.
It paid off last year with her hat trick in the Women’s World Cup—three goals capped with a jaw-dropping 50-yard strike from midfield.
It was the greatest goal in U.S. soccer history, and Lloyd had practiced it for years on an empty field in New Jersey.
Her Sportswoman of the Year nomination rests on this: “She answered the call when nobody was watching. She answered the call when everyone was watching.”
— Adapted from “The Case for Carli Lloyd,” Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated.