United States Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain Lindsey Horan expressed her dissatisfaction with the level of soccer knowledge among US fans, in a candid interview with the Athletic.
“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.
Horan has been wearing the captain’s armband for the national team since 2023, sharing the leadership role with Alex Morgan when they play together.
US fans ‘take what the commentators say’
“I’m going to piss off some people, but the game is growing in the US. 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, ‘[Commentator and former USWNT player] Julie Foudy said you had such a good game!’ And I’m here just going, ‘I was fucking shit today.’”
The USWNT faced a lot of criticism after their disappointing performance at the 2023 World Cup, where they were knocked out by Sweden in a penalty shootout in the round of 16. Vlatko Andonovski stepped down as the national team coach after the tournament, and Emma Hayes, the current Chelsea manager, will take over the job at the end of the Women’s Super League season in England.
Horan felt hurt by the negative media attention that the US received during the World Cup.
“I always want to defend my team and say you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. You have no idea every single training what we are doing individually, collectively etc, so for anyone to question our mentality hurts a little bit,” Horan said after the US barely made it out of the group stage, referring to Carli Lloyd’s remarks on Fox Sports that the team were “arrogant”.
‘People are going to come and talk shit’
Horan also said that the team had to deal with a lot of pressure and expectations from the fans and the public.
“If you’re not backing it up on the field, people are going to come and talk shit about what you’re doing, where your priorities are,” Horan said.
“Like, ‘Are you getting ready for the game? Are you caring more about this shit? You have to be amongst this team for a while to know what the fuck that takes. It’s one of the most competitive national teams to be a part of.”
Horan plays her club soccer for Lyon in France, where she feels that the fans have a better appreciation of the game. “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.”
Horan was optimistic about the team’s chances in the Paris Olympics later this year. The USWNT have been accused of lagging behind the world’s best teams in terms of technical skills, relying more on their physical attributes. With Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe retiring, the US has brought in some younger players, hoping to combine physicality with more creativity and accuracy in their attack.