Women's Soccer Star Says U.S. Team Is 'Fighting For Bigger Picture' Equality

Carli Lloyd joins "The Second Half" podcast to talk about turf, the future of women's soccer and that World Cup goal.

The United States women's national soccer team made headlines two weeks ago when it refused to play a match in Hawaii because of the poor condition of the artificial turf playing surface. The incident was the latest to draw attention to inequality in the sport, after playing surface and equal pay issues arose before and after this summer's Women's World Cup, which the U.S. team won.

On this week's episode of "The Second Half" podcast, star midfielder Carli Lloyd joins Huffington Post sports reporter Travis Waldron and former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth to talk about the decision to boycott the match, and the fight for equal treatment for women's soccer players not just in the U.S. but around the world (the interview starts at 16:25).

“Enough’s enough," Lloyd said. "We’ve been playing on subpar fields, in subpar locker room conditions. It’s time to kind of get a protocol in place."

She continued: "We’re world champions. What we say and what we do really speaks volumes to the entire world. It’s important for us to fight for what we believe is right, because then it gives other teams and other countries the confidence to maybe do the same. If we’re doing it, it allows them to think about it as well."

Carli Lloyd, of the U.S. women's national soccer team, celebrates after scoring from just inside midfield during the 201
Carli Lloyd, of the U.S. women's national soccer team, celebrates after scoring from just inside midfield during the 2015 World Cup final.

Lloyd also recounted the stunning, midfield goal that gave her a hat trick in the Women's World Cup final and the "surreal" feeling of finally hoisting the sport's biggest trophy. And she provided a preview of the U.S. team's road to the 2016 Rio Olympics, which the Americans will enter as two-time defending gold medal winners.

She also spoke about the growth of women's soccer after the U.S. team's World Cup victory, which helped lead to record crowds across the fledgling National Women's Soccer League, and the importance of improving compensation and other benefits for players in the NWSL, which is entering its fourth season.

"We’re not just fighting for things for ourselves, we’re fighting for the big picture," she said. "There’s some players making $1,000 a month. ... We want other players to be able to fully focus on this and not have another job in the offseason. That’s what we want to get at."

Plus, Daily Beast and New York Times Magazine columnist Ana Marie Cox joins Travis and Donté to ponder what might have been had Donald Trump bought the Buffalo Bills instead of running for president, unfortunate incidents of Islamophobia at recent NFL games, and surging teams that could shake up the NFL playoff picture with just a few weeks left in the season.

This podcast was produced, edited and engineered by Peter James Callahan and Adriana Usero, with assistance from Christine Conetta.

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The Most Badass Photos From The Women’s World Cup Final