When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World

by Carli Lloyd

Paperback, 2017




Mariner Books (2017), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages


In 2015, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Won its first FIFA championship in sixteen years, culminating in an epic final game that electrified soccer fans around the world. It featured a gutsy performance by midfielder Carli Lloyd, who made history that day, scoring a hat trick -- three goals in one game -- during the first sixteen minutes. But there was a time when Carli almost quit the sport. In 2003 she was struggling, her soccer career at a crossroads. Then she found a trusted trainer, James Galanis, who saw in Carli a player with raw talent, skill, and great dedication to the game. What Carli lacked were fitness, mental toughness, and character. Together they set to work, training day and night, fighting, grinding it out. No one worked harder than Carli. And no one believed in her more than James. Despite all the naysayers, the times she was benched, the moments when her self-confidence took a nosedive, she succeeded in becoming one of the best players in the world. This candid reflection on a remarkable turnaround will take readers inside the women's national team and inside the mind of an athlete who willed herself to perform at the highest levels of competition.… (more)


(9 ratings; 3.4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Beth3511
The stuff about the dynamics and politics of the National Women's Soccer Team was the most interesting part. There were a lot of accounts of big NWST games, which I was less interested in.
LibraryThing member ASKelmore
A memoir. Written by a woman. About soccer. I’m surprised my local book store didn’t just automatically set it aside for me. This shit is my jam.

If you aren’t a fan of women’s soccer (and if you enjoy sports, you should check it out), you probably hadn’t heard of Carli Lloyd before last
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summer. She’s been playing for the US Women’s National Team since the early 2000s, but she stepped hard into the spotlight during the World Cup in Canada last year, when she scored three times in the final win over Japan, including a shot basically from mid-field.

Of the memoirs I’ve read recently that involve a co-writer, this one reads the smoothest. I don’t know Ms. Lloyd, and I haven’t seen her interviewed much, but the voice, while a bit stiff, feels genuine. The book follows her journey from player in her New Jersey hometown, through college, and into her professional career. It has much more soccer in it than Abbi Wambach’s memoir from earlier this year, and I loved that. Ms. Lloyd also discusses some of the same incidents that Ms. Wambach did, with a different perspective, which is fascinating for someone like me.

Ms. Lloyd is dedicated as hell, a hard worker, and talented. She says repeatedly she doesn’t like drama, but also says she tells it like it is, and in my experience drama and a lack of desire to choose one’s words carefully almost always go hand in hand. At the same time, I do think Ms. Lloyd is self-aware; she is open about her flaws and how they have impacted her life, especially her relationship with her immediate family (spoiler alert: it’s not a good one).

If you like sports and a bit of an underdog story, I think you’ll like this. But if you don’t enjoy sports, I think there might just be too much technical discussion for this to be a good read.
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Original language


Physical description

272 p.; 8 inches


1328745627 / 9781328745620
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