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USWNT Star Carli Lloyd Invited To Play In NFL Preseason Game

Aug 28, 2019
Originally published on August 29, 2019 5:23 am
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

U.S. soccer star Carli Lloyd is all over the news this week because of a kick.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Lloyd may get one here. Carli Lloyd - she's got it - 13-0 U.S.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

No, not a kick on a soccer field. It was actually a 55-yard field goal that the World Cup star let loose at a training session for the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

KELLY: That's the Eagles of the National Football League - American football.

CHANG: Now, for some perspective, that is a tough kick for most kickers in the NFL right now. So a video of it went viral. Lloyd's a huge Eagles fan, and the whole thing started when the team invited her to watch them practice.

JAMES GALANIS: And at the end, they unexpectedly - they call her onto the field, and she takes a few steps there and - without no warmup, nothing - and kicks the ball through the goal.

KELLY: That is Lloyd's longtime coach James Galanis. He says, after that video got shared around, they started getting some phone calls.

CHANG: Some of these calls were from NFL teams. One team even invited Lloyd to join the roster for a preseason game on Thursday. That would make her the first woman to play in an NFL preseason game.

GALANIS: It could change the way the world thinks, seeing it at that level.

KELLY: Unfortunately, Lloyd had to decline. She's already scheduled to play in a soccer game the same day. But Galanis says it could happen in the future. She would need to train first, but he says she's already got the right mindset.

GALANIS: Shutting the whole world out and just thinking that's the only thing that exists and going through, striking that ball through the guts, straight down the middle - I think that is also something that Carli won't have a problem with doing - that zone thing that I'm talking about.

CHANG: And if she does it, Galanis says it could open the door for women not just to play in the NFL, but in any male-dominated league.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.