U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd’s visit to the Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp was supposed to be just for fun, but it may have turned into something of an audition.
The 2015 World Cup Golden Ball winner (MVP) posted a video to Twitter last week that showed her nailing a field goal from what she said was 55 yards.
— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 20, 2019
The video quickly got lots of attention online and, apparently, from NFL teams.
James Galanis, Lloyd’s trainer, told Fox Sports that an NFL team offered to add Lloyd to its roster and have her play in Week 4 of the preseason.
“Today, she got another call from another NFL team. The one that called today, I don’t want to say who it is, was willing to put her on the roster for their next (game),” Galanis said.
Unfortunately for Lloyd, a scheduling conflict will make that impossible. All 32 NFL teams end their preseason Thursday, at the same time she’ll be playing for the USWNT in a friendly against Portugal.
“She was told [she could] play on Thursday, the NFL game, but she is playing Thursday with the national team, so that was the conflict,” Galanis said.
So it won’t work out for this preseason, but could it ever? Lloyd seems to think so.
“I’m laughing about it, but the more I think about it, this has the chance to be sort of a pioneering moment for women,” she told NBC’s “Football Morning in America” the day after she attended the Eagles practice.
When asked whether a woman could kick in the NFL, Lloyd said: “I know that I could actually probably do it. Put on the helmet, strap on the pads, go for it. The mindset I have, I think with practice, I know I have to work on my steps and my technique, but I think I could do it and do it well. It could be a huge pivotal moment. There is no reason why a woman could not do this.”
Is that true? Maybe.
There’s no doubt that Lloyd’s 55-yard field goal was impressive. But as many people online pointed out, there were a few things that made it substantially different from an in-game kick.
The first one is obvious: She wasn’t wearing any pads. While not a complete game-changer, wearing football pads definitely changes things, as Lloyd herself admitted.
The second issue was slightly more subtle but possibly more impactful. Lloyd got a 5-yard running start before kicking the ball. That’s roughly double the couple of steps NFL kickers usually take to launch the ball. When an opposing defense is rushing to block a kick, every millisecond counts.
That being said, if an NFL team is willing to give Carli Lloyd a shot as a kicker, she should go for it. Maybe it could add some much-needed interest to the 2020 preseason.
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