Carli Lloyd responds after backlash to her criticism of the US women’s national soccer team

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Former soccer pro Carli Lloyd further explained her disappointment over the United States women's national soccer team's performance against Portugal in the World Cup, a day after her comments about the team's attitude prompted backlash.

Lloyd, a former forward for the USWNT and current analyst at Fox Sports, said on Aug. 2 her comments came from a place of admiration of the team's legacy of greatness.

"I’d like to state that obviously I was very critical of the team last night. I’ve had some time to reflect, to sleep on it. I want people to understand that I care deeply about this team," Lloyd said. "I poured my heart and soul into this team for 17 years and it was based off of a legacy that was just passed down from generation to generation, the mentality, the DNA of what makes that team so great.

"My comments were reflective on me wanting to see that legacy continue to be passed down from generation to generation, and with that, it comes with hard work, it comes with focus, and so my hope is that that continues, because that is what makes the U.S. so special and so deadly, and that is what ultimately has won us championships," she continued.

Lloyd, a two-time World Cup winner, two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Player of the Year, had bashed the team earlier this week, saying she "wouldn’t put them in the top 10" after Portugal nearly won the Aug. 1 match in stoppage time.

She also said she disapproved of players taking photos with fans and dancing after the near upset.

"I have never witnessed something like that," she said. "There’s a difference between being respectful of the fans and saying hello to your family, but to be dancing, to be smiling — I mean, the player of the match was that post. You’re lucky to not be going home right now."

While she wasn't alone in her comments about the team's quality of play, backlash ensued, including from USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

"To question the mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete, I think is insane," Andonovski said during a press conference, according to CNN.

Former USWNT goalie Ashlyn Harris said on TODAY on Aug. 1 the players know the standard they need to live up to.

"It’s just not good enough right now. But the thing is we’re moving forward," Harris said. "We cannot push the panic button. There is no script to a World Cup. We continue building. We find our feet. We find our joy and passion. That’s why we play this game."

The USNWT is scheduled to play Sweden next in the first round of the knockout stages on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 5 a.m. ET.

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