Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 8/29/12

The hard work of Carli Lloyd does not go unnoticed and she has two gold medals to prove it. The Philadelphia Union are one of many organizations to honor her, Lloyd will be honorary captain for the Union tonight. I was able ask her about this and she told me, “I am truly honored to be the “honorary” captain at the Philly Union game tonight…I have enjoyed watching the MLS and it has been great to see it grow.  I can’t wait to return to PPL Park to meet all the fans and enjoy a great night of soccer!” I joked with her about DOOPing tonight and explained some of “doop” culture to her. Lloyd replied , “I didn’t know what “DOOP” was but now that I do I will most definitely embrace it tonight.”

The path she took get here tonight wasn’t always easy. But through it all the Delran, NJ (a small town cross the Delaware River from Philadelphia)  native has found a way to step up in big games and be impact player.  Are great players born that way or is something they learn?  I think with the case of  Lloyd it is a combo of both.  To be in the talks of a great player you must have an all round game on and off the pitch. Every player has a desire to be good but not settling with just good is what makes you great.

Sometimes we can over look greatness and a player has  work day in and day out to find it. In Lloyd’s case the fight was always there it just to needed to be refined and molded into finished product. In 2007 her first step toward winning gold medals began, as she started to work with Coach James Galanis. When she came to Galanis she was out of shape and had troubles running more than 20 minutes. But Galanis saw something in her, he saw a player that could will to become one the world’s greatest soccer players. He got her mind and body in the direction to be elite.

Here we are five years later and Coach Galanis star pupil is now a two-time gold medalist. Not only has Lloyd won two golds but she has scored the game winner in the last two Olympic gold medal games. Her character alone is as big as the game. I had chance to ask some key people in area about this hard work and how she will be honoring at the Philadelphia Union game.

I spoke with Coach James Galanis about the joy of seeing Carli being honored by all this organizations.

“Obviously it feels good seeing her get recognized for all her hard work and sacrifice over the years.” “We have been working with a dream of developing her into one of the best players in the world and we feel we have accomplished this.” “She is one of the best players in the world and should be recognized for making her dream into a reality.”

Another player that went to Rutgers and inspires us all, like Carli, is Eric LeGrand. LeGrand and Lloyd have formed bond that shows us how you pay it forward to fellow athletes when things are down. LeGrand suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a college football game in 2010 that left him paralyzed. His story has gained world wide attention as LeGrand has over-come and beat odds that were thought to be impossible.  The fight and will within LeGrand lifts the greatest of great players and makes us average Joes realize we can become great too.

 

 

PLAYERS: Carli Lloyd
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