Carli Lloyd excited to be returning to Wembley for Women's FA Cup final

10 May 2017 11:24

Carli Lloyd will summon golden memories of London 2012 as she bids to inspire Manchester City Women to Wembley glory on Saturday.

It was at the English national stadium that Lloyd scored twice for the United States in their 2-1 Olympic final victory over Japan almost five years ago.

And it will be back to north London for the reigning FIFA player of the year as she and City tackle Birmingham City Ladies in front of a bumper crowd at the SSE Women's FA Cup final.

Lloyd saw great hopes of Champions League glory crushed as Nick Cushing's side fell 3-2 on aggregate to French powerhouse Lyon in the semi-finals.

But the American is determined to leave a parting gift as her three-month stint nears its end, with City chasing their first Women's FA Cup triumph.

Lloyd typically produces the spectacular on the big stage, emphasised by her hat-trick in the 2015 World Cup final.

She told Press Association Sport: "That's why I do what I do, and those are the most amazing moments where I like to rise to the occasion.

"I've got a very good visual memory of Wembley, from playing in front of 80,000 fans in 2012, and receiving the gold medal, so it's pretty exciting to be going back and competing for another final.

"The Olympics being held in England was phenomenal. It was great all around, getting to play at Old Trafford, at Newcastle and Wembley, these amazing stadiums.

"And now to be heading back to Wembley, hopefully we'll have lots of fans in the stands and it'll be a great match."

City won the Women's Super League and WSL Continental Tyres Cup last season, emerging as England's dominant club side but with the FA Cup still absent from their honours board.

"I know the club have been really going after this for the last four years since they've been a part of this league and it's very special to them," Lloyd said. "I want to help them win it, do everything I can."

Over 35,000 tickets have been sold for the occasion, indicating there should be a record crowd for a Women's FA Cup final. Last year 32,912 saw Arsenal beat Chelsea, marking a new highest attendance for the match.

It will soon be time for Lloyd to head home to New Jersey, with her three-month stint at City ending in early June.

Her priority on joining the ambitious and financially well-backed club was success in Europe, but Lyon's impressive 3-1 win in Manchester and French tenacity in the second leg after Lloyd halved the aggregate lead meant City were kept waiting for silverware on that front.

Lloyd, 34, thinks City should take heart.

"I think it gave everyone more confidence in themselves and belief in themselves that this team can compete at the top," she said.

"It's made City realise (about) whether they need to change some things, (to) take that step to the next level. They're at a point where they've done really well over the years and now it's about reaching the next level and getting to the top."

:: Carli Lloyd was speaking on behalf of Manchester City ahead of the SSE Women's FA Cup Final. Kids Go Free to the May 13th Final and tickets are still available via TheFA.com/Tickets

Source: PA


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