Soccer star Carli Lloyd says she has tried to play every game in her 17-year U.S. women's national team career like it is her last.
So what will she do Tuesday night at Allianz Field when a friendly match against South Korea really is her last for her country?
"I'm going to let the emotions flow the way they're going to flow," she said.
That's something of a revelation from a 39-year-old always driven, sometimes distant all these years, who refers to herself occasionally as "Iced-out Carli" because others have done so.
She has played for her country in three different decades, in four FIFA Women's World Cups and four Olympic Games. She won each twice and was a two-time FIFA Player of the Year. Her 315 USWNT games played are second-most in world soccer history and her 134 international goals are third-most in U.S. women's history and fourth all-time.
Her coach, Vlatko Andonovski, deems it a career that would have gotten statues erected and streets named if she were a man playing in Europe. He calls "iconic" her best performances that included a hat trick – one goal scored from midfield – in the first 17 minutes of the 2015 World Cup final victory over Japan.
Seventeen players in U.S. women's national-team history have played at least 179 games. Lloyd has played that many since she turned 30. She has two more games scheduled this week, and possibly playoffs with her NWSL Gotham FC team.
"She extended the lifespan for professional athletes and showed age is just a number," he said.
On Tuesday, Lloyd will say goodbye to it all on the final night of four-game, post-Tokyo Olympics tour started last month when Lloyd scored five goals in a 9-0 victory over Paraguay.
Lloyd is doing so physically exhausted from many years and many sacrifices made to reach such a high standard she calls "so incredibly hard." A collegiate star at Rutgers, she played her first USWNT game in July 2005, six days before her 23rd birthday.
"It's very tiring to continue to prove people wrong," she said.
Lloyd is also emotionally worn from this short tour, now that she has allowed herself to really see everything whirling around her.
She promises that Tuesday will be a night for fans — and maybe even teammates and coaches past and present — to get a look behind the curtain.
"I've been 'Iced-Out Carli' for so long and people have seen that," she said Monday in a video call with reporters. "People haven't seen a different side of me, but I'm going to savor it. I'm going to savor every moment, and it's going to be truly special for one last time to give it all I have for this team, for the crest, for the country, for the fans.
"No tunnel vision tomorrow night. I'm going to soak in every last possible minute and enjoy it."
Iced-Out Carli might have never attended Sunday's Rolling Stones concert at U.S. Bank Stadium two nights before a game, even a friendly. She and teammates Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan went together and met Mick Jagger backstage.
"Throughout my career, I've just wanted to be the best soccer player I could be. I often missed out on doing things for fun," Lloyd said. "I'm not missing out on anything anymore. I was really happy I decided to go see the Rolling Stones. I know it wasn't really my era, but an unbelievable bucket-list to cross off."
Jagger is 78 and not near retirement. Lloyd is 39 and still scoring goals in a bunch in a friendly.
"They sort of make me feel like I should keep playing," she said.
Instead, she passed along her No. 10 jersey with a new name on it to teammate Lindsey Horan before a game last week in Kansas City.
"It's insane. I hope she doesn't retire," Horan said optimistically. "I think we can pull her back in."
Tuesday will be the last time Lloyd wears the number usually given to a playmaking midfielder.
"I'm going to try my best not to cry again because I've cried about seven times today," Horan said that day. "It's probably one of the most special moments of my career. … Giving me the opportunity to wear her jersey, I'm going to try to represent it the best way I possibly can. I'll think of her every time I put it on."
Nearly 30 family members and friends from the Philadelphia/New Jersey area from where she comes will celebrate and console. Her parents, husband Brian Hollins, sister, young nieces, in-laws and others are traveling from afar.
"It feels like everything has come back full circle," Lloyd said. "I know it's going to be hard to hold back the tears. But I'm going to embrace it: the fans, see the posters, see the jerseys, just be in the moment.
"I've had the best of both worlds. "I'm sure there were times maybe my focus was too intense, but I gave it all I had and that's what is really special, walking away from this knowing I gave it everything I had."