Scene Through the Lens | October 25, 2021
Inquirer staff photographer Tom Gralish’s weekly visual exploration of our region
While a popular Eagle just moved from a 2-5 team to a 7-0 one, and the Sixers not-yet-former player still isn’t playing, my favorite local athlete is finishing her professional career. Carli Lloyd will play her last game with the U.S. Women’s National Team tomorrow against South Korea. Then, she plays her last regular-season National Women’s Soccer League game on Sunday, and if her team, Gotham FC fails to advance to the playoffs, that’s it.
I never actually photographed her in a game. But I was there in a sports bar with fans in her hometown of Delran, N.J. when she scored a hat-trick in the 5—2 U.S. win over Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. That third goal was the one she scored from the midfield line!
A few years before that game, I watched her practice with longtime trainer, James Galanis.
And even before that, Delran gave her a small-town send-off, on her way to the 2008 Olympics, where she would score the winning goal in the gold medal game. At the local ice cream parlor, they named a flavor for her: Carli’s Cake Batter Cookie Dough Kick. The mayor gave Lloyd a key to the community and announced that some soccer fields would be named for her.
You would expect there would be many young girl fans lined up for Lloyd’s autograph on jerseys and soccer balls, but the Delran High School boys soccer team was also there, and a little starstruck as they posed with her for a group photo.
No player in the history of international soccer has scored more goals after her 30th birthday than Lloyd. Since turning 30, she has scored 98 goals in 179 games over a span of a little less than nine and-a-half years.
That’s a lot of bull’s-eyes.
Since 1998, a black-and-white photo has appeared every Monday in staff photographer Tom Gralish’s “Scene Through the Lens” photo column in The Inquirer’s local news section. Here are the most recent, in color:
» SEE MORE: Archived columns and Twenty years of a photo column