The Garden State, despite its flowery name, produces tough people. People from New Jersey carry a certain bravado, or in this case, bravada. U.S. soccer player Carli Lloyd is a product of New Jersey. She embodies it in everything she does.
She played her youth soccer and high school ball in Delran, New Jersey. She currently plays for the New Jersey women’s professional soccer team to live with her New Jersey-born husband in New Jersey. They were high school sweethearts, bonded by the streets of…well, you get it.
On the pitch, Lloyd is one of the most formidable and determined players on the ball. There are so many ways she can beat you. Carli Lloyd might run past you, run over you or run through you, all in the course of one game. Lloyd does whatever it takes to score. She embodies New Jersey grit.
Off the pitch, the Olympic gold medalist is a low-key sweetheart. The Rutgers alum tied the knot with her longtime boyfriend Brian Hollins in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, in a small beach ceremony in 2016. They’ve hardly left home since they returned from their honeymoon, except for the occasional World Cup.
Who is FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd’s husband, though?
Carli Lloyd’s Husband Brian Hollins
Brian Hollins is a golf pro, a New Jersey native and a husband. He’s an assistant gold professional at Trenton Country Club and coaches at Willow Brook Country Club. He was born in Delran Township, just like his high school girlfriend and future wife, Carli Lloyd.
Hollins played soccer and golf while attending Delran High School. According to Sports Illustrated, Hollins was dating Lloyd at least by his senior year of high school. His family members love golf, and he reportedly attended The Golf Academy of the South in Altamonte, Florida, after high school. He learned the ins and outs of golf and works as a New Jersey-based golf pro today.
Hollins said in a Sports Illustrated article that his wife is “the most competitive person I know.”
?He laughs because he says I always go in harder against him. And I?m like, ?No, you always go harder against me.? It gets heated, we?ll lay each other out,” Lloyd said, per Golf.com.
?You know, it?s fun, we get to banter. We get to be outside the relationship lovey-dove type of thing and go battle.?
Many great athletes have strange rituals rooted in superstition. Jordan allegedly wore his Tar Heel blues under his Bulls shorts. Serena Williams keeps the same socks on for an entire tournament. Carli Lloyd doesn’t let her husband come to soccer games. She likes the room to focus. At the Tokyo Olympics, Lloyd should have plenty of room to breathe.
Carli Lloyd Soccer Career
Carli Anne Lloyd was born in Delran Township, South Jersey, to Pamela and Stephen Lloyd. She grew up with siblings Stephen and Ashley Lloyd, playing soccer for the first time at the early age of five. By the time she graduated from Delran High School, Lloyd had twice been named Player of the Year. Lloyd chose to become a Scarlet Knight in college.
Lloyd played midfielder for in-state Rutgers University for four years, earning All-Big East honors for each season. Lloyd graduated in 2004. She was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2013. Rutgers chose to recognize Lloyd for her outstanding play with the US Women’s Soccer Team.
Lloyd’s international career with the American national soccer team has been one the greatest. She’s a three-time Olympian and two-time gold medalist. She’s won two World Cups plus a FIFA Golden Ball and Silver Boot.
She’s played in every Women’s World Cup since 2007 and scored a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the 2015 World Cup Final in a 5-2 victory over Japan. Lloyd broke all sorts of records that game, including the fastest goal scored in a final, the fastest hat trick scored in a final and the first woman to ever score a hat-trick in a final. It’s worth noting without Lloyd’s hat trick it would’ve been a tie.
She was awarded FIFA Women’s Player of the Year for her achievements and did it again the following year. Her incredible career at the World Cup notwithstanding, Lloyd has had an All-Star professional career as well.
There was no stable professional women’s league for the soccer star after she graduated from Rutgers. In 2008, She joined the Chicago Red Stars in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). She joined the NJ-based Sky Blue FC the following season but was traded to the expansion team (and former WUSA team), the Atlanta Beat. The WPS dissolved in 2011. The National Women’s Soccer League picked up the pieces in 2013.
Lloyd joined the NWSL and the Western New York Flash for the inaugural NWSL season. The Flash made it to the final against the Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath-led Portland Thorns, who ultimately won the championship.
Lloyd played another season with the Flash before being traded to the Houston Dash expansion team. She was loaned out to Manchester City and helped the City Women win an FA Women’s Cup. She returned victorious to the states and re-joined Sky Blue FC, which has been going by NJ/NY Gotham FC since 2020.
Carli Lloyd has won international and league trophies alike. She could add on to that in Tokyo.
Carli Lloyd 2021 Tokyo Olympics
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be Carli Lloyd’s third Olympics in 13 years. She made the USWNT squad for what will likely be her last Olympic Games with superstar teammates Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz and Crystal Dunn.
Fresh off their 2019 World Cup heroics, Team USA will face tough competition from Canada and Sweden for Olympic gold. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski added 38-year-old Lloyd to the roster for many reasons, not just her experience. Her grit, determination and goal-scoring prowess have defined the USWNT for the past decade.
While certainly a veteran, Lloyd is far from over the hill. Expect to see her off the bench, in the back of the net and standing on the podium with another gold medal before 2021 is over.