They played with the reckless abandon the rest of the USWNT has been lacking, knowing this could be their last Olympic game and possibly their last game at any major international tournament.

With two goals apiece, they restored American pride by demonstrating the kind of opportunity that has made them two of the most feared players in the world.

Opinion: Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe are Game-Changers Again, Possibly One Last Time

Thanks to two goals from Rapinoe and two from Lloyd, the U.S. women are taking home a medal from the Tokyo Olympics.

Although bronze wasn’t the goal coming into Tokyo, it means the United States has now medaled in all but one World Cup and Olympic competition.

Any sports team would be envious of that level of reliability and success.

The United States women’s team has been unrivalled for the better part of a decade, and they have won the last two World Cups.

If you just look at their paper roster, you can see that they are unrivalled.

Talent alone isn’t what has gotten them this far in the tournament, though, as they learned.

Carli Lloyd says the U.S. women’s national team had to go through adversity to learn when to pass the torch.

Greetings, and thank you for subscribing to the Los Angeles Times’ soccer newsletter.

As you read this, I should be 36,000 feet above the Pacific on my way back from the Tokyo Olympics; my name is Kevin Baxter, and I am the Times’ soccer writer.

I had never covered an Olympic event without spectators before covering the COVID Games.

Regular coronavirus testing was conducted, and social distance was strictly enforced at most venues, while face masks were widely available for those who needed them.

A lot of the players noticed a change as well. USWNT veteran Carli Lloyd said, “This whole tournament has been about adapting.” That’s right, there aren’t any cooling fans here.

Confined to the hotel with no chance of escape. Position yourself ten feet away from [the press]. All of humanity shares a common plight.

Conclusion

Lloyd’s participation in this tournament was likely his last in an international competition.

Both she and Megan Rapinoe gave numerous hints suggesting that their combined 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears was finally paying off.

Lloyd has recently reconciled with her estranged husband and family after an extended separation.

She is looking forward to spending more time with them now that the next Women’s World Cup is two years away. Thanks for reading our article Opinion: Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe are Game-Changers Again, Possibly One Last Time.