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Why Lindsey Horan is the Most Important Piece to the USWNT

Why Lindsey Horan is the most important piece to the USWNT. The girl from Colorado knew she will be captaining the squad before the start of the World Cup and has proven her leadership during the first two matches of the tournament. With all the hype around Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith; Horan’s name was stuck in the shadows, but she has shown why her name must be remembered.  

Horan made her national team debut in 2013. However, did not make the 2015 World Cup squad as she was only 21 years old. From there, she worked her way to becoming a regular starter for the team. Horan was then part of the team that was their second World Cup in a row in 2019. Before her national team debut, she was set to join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then decided to turn pro after she was offered a chance to play with PSG. 

Her four years at PSG established her style of play, which is a European-based possession. This certainly jump started her career and she decided to move back to the U.S to play for Portland. She was a huge asset for that team, leading them to a NWSL title, two NWSL Shields, one NWSL Challenge Cup and a Women’s International Champions Cup.  

Unlike her other USWNT counterparts, Horan is the only one on the roster that currently plays outside of the NWSL. She joined Lyon earlier in the year after spending seven years with the Portland Thorns. Horan has shown a different style of play than her teammates, which is why she sticks out on the pitch.  

During the first match against Vietnam, Lindsey Horan was all over the pitch. She started counterattacks, starting plays in the middle of the field while also contributing to the defense. Her stat line after the Vietnam was a goal with eight shots (three on target), six interceptions, three tackles (two won) and three chances created.  

With the light still on Smith and Morgan, Lindsey Horan continues to fly under the radar. However, the match against the Netherlands changes all that. Her leadership during that match is the reason why she wears the captain’s armband. During the 59th minute of the match, Horan suffered a nasty tackle and was in a visible amount of pain while also getting into an altercation with a member from the Dutch national team.  

Instead of dwelling in anger, she used it a fuel and scored the game-tying goal for the U.S. Her scoreline after the match was a goal on three shots, two chances created and two tackles (one won). Her performance gives the team hope of leadership in a semi-inexperience team. 

A captain is one who picks up the slack while others are struggling. This includes picking up the slack from Alex Morgan, who has yet to score this World Cup while also missing the penalty against Vietnam. As long as Lindsey Horan continues to stay healthy and features in the lineup, the USWNT will be in good hands and could make another push for a three-peat.  

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