USWNT captain Horan: Most U.S. fans not smart

United States women’s national team captain Lindsey Horan has said in an interview with The Athletic that the team’s supporters struggle to correctly assess her performances, adding that “American soccer fans, most of them aren’t smart.”

Horan has been co-captain of the USWNT, along with veteran forward Alex Morgan, since being appointed by former head coach Vlatko Andonovski on July 7, 2023. She wears the armband when both players are on the pitch at the same time.

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“American soccer fans, most of them aren’t smart,” Horan said. “They don’t know the game. They don’t understand. [But] it’s getting better and better.

“I’m going to piss off some people, but the game is growing in the U.S. People are more and more knowledgeable, but so much of the time people take what the commentators say, right? My mom does it! My mom says, ‘Julie Foudy [a commentator and former USWNT midfielder] said you had such a good game!’ And I’m here just going, ‘I was f—ing s— today.'”

Horan, 29, said her experience in France, where she plays her club football for Lyon, is different.

“From what I’ve heard, people understand my game a little bit more, a sense of my football and the way I play,” Horan said. “It is the French culture. Everyone watches football. People know football.”

The USWNT received heavy criticism following its poor showing at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, where it was knocked out by Sweden in the round of 16, but Horan said that she wasn’t interested in the views of outsiders.

“If you’re not backing it up on the field, people are going to come and talk s— about what you’re doing, where your priorities are,” she said. “Like, ‘Are you getting ready for the game? Are you caring more about this s—?'”

Horan’s growing experience allows her to understand the pressure that comes with playing for the four-time world champion.

“You have to be amongst this team for a while to know what the f— that takes. … It’s one of the most competitive national teams to be a part of,” Horan said.

However, with the team refreshed following its World Cup disappointment — Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe have since retired — Horan was keen to point out how good the new-look USWNT can be in a year that will see it attempt to win a gold medal at the Paris Olympics.

“Even in these past few games, you see little glimpses of that [how good the team can be], but it’s the final product, continuing to do that throughout the game, getting everyone on the same page, not just four or five players,” Horan said.

“If you can develop that more, and it’s inherent in every single player on the team, you’re looking to play the combinations, all of these things? No idea what this team can do.

“Then you have the mentality aspect on top of it, where if the football is not going well, we know that we can freaking go. We have players on the field that are faster, stronger, capable in behind, and we’re going to gut it out, right? The world is going to be very fearful.”


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