Carli Lloyd crouched to the ground and buried her head in her hands, and if you were to paint a picture of the end of an era, this would be it. Lloyd’s eyes drilled into the grass. Megan Rapinoe pulled out her shinguards and walked around in a daze.

“No one knows what to say,” Rapinoe said of those seconds that go on forever. “Everyone just wishes they could turn into dust.”

They’d just lost to Canada in an Olympic semifinal and fallen short of the gold medal they craved, and in the aftermath, they knew what these moments at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium would likely represent.

They wouldn’t quite say it.

“I haven’t really put too much thought” into the future, Rapinoe said.

“We’ve got another game to play,” Lloyd said, referencing Thursday’s bronze medal match. “That’s all I’m thinking about.”

But they knew why the questions were being asked. They’d had a moment together on the field after a gutting 1-0 loss.