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Lindsey Horan apologizes for saying American soccer fans ‘aren’t smart’ – Equalizer Soccer

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Lindsey Horan dribbles the ball for the USWNT


Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

United States women’s national team captain Lindsey Horan apologized on Thursday for recent comments that “American soccer fans, most of them aren’t smart.”

“Some of my comments were poorly expressed, and there was a massive lesson learned for me,” Horan said on Thursday.

Horan, who assumed co-captaincy of the U.S. ahead of the 2023 World Cup and has continued to wear the armband during a coaching transition, made her statement during media availability ahead of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. She singled out fans of the team in her apology to thank them for providing the “motivation” for the team.

Horan’s comments, which were published earlier this month, took aim at the naivety of soccer culture in the United States. Horan plays for French powerhouse Lyon and was the only player on the 23-woman World Cup roster who did not play in the U.S.’ National Women’s Soccer League.

“From what I’ve heard, people understand my game a little bit more, a sense of my football and the way I play,” she said in the article originally published by The Athletic. “It is the French culture. Everyone watches football. People know football.”

On Thursday, she walked back those comments.

“The soccer culture in America is changing and growing so much in such a positive way, and for me to be able to experience that first-hand playing for this U.S. women’s national team but also in the NWSL and for the Portland Thorns, is something just so amazing,” Horan said. “It is my absolute honor — and I will always say that — to be able to put on this crest every single day, to be in this environment and to go out and play in front of our fans and represent this national team. It is my greatest honor. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to offend anyone in that manner. So, again, I deeply, deeply apologize.”

Horan’s original comments earlier this month struck a mix of confusion and anger among many fans. The remarks had an undertone of insult but it was unclear who exactly their intended target or audience was. Asked to clarify what she meant to say, Horan said on Thursday, “I don’t think what I meant really matters right now.”

Asked what compelled her to apologize, Horan said, “What I had inside of me, how I felt about it, and what I read in my opinion of my own comments. And also me just wanting to express how much the fans mean to me personally. Again, not wanting to take anything away from that. So, I think that was just something always within me, that I wanted to do.”

In the original interview earlier this month, Horan also pointed out that the silliness of pregame photos — a minor trend in the U.S., but seemingly less so globally — “irked” her. A few days later, U.S. teammate Trinity Rodman said the pregame photos would “100 percent” continue to happen at the club level with the Washington Spirit and that they did not affect anyone’s performance. Rodman’s comments did not directly address Horan, but were clearly in response to the topic.

“I think all the players in this camp are very professional and they take everything seriously,” Horan said on Thursday.

“I want people to talk about how incredible we are on the ball, the possession, the style of play, the technical ability, the tactical changes mid-game,” she said. “These type of things that maybe I view when I do see some of the best teams in the world. So, maybe that was in my head, thinking of our team and what I want people to say about them on the field and how we’re playing.”





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North Carolina Courage’s Brianna Pinto embracing new role in 2024 – Equalizer Soccer

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Gotham FC's Delanie Sheehan battles for a ball with North Carolina Courage's Brianna Pinto


Photo Copyright Rob Kinnan for USA TODAY Sports

CARY, N.C. — When the North Carolina Courage lined up for their opening match of the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League season, an interesting name filled the central striker’s role at kickoff: Brianna Pinto.

The 23-year-old had previously been a midfielder while a member of the Courage, albeit a versatile player who had been used in both defensive and attacking roles. But with North Carolina’s leading scorer from 2023 Kerolin sidelined with a torn ACL for the time being, as well as head coach Sean Nahas having a surplus of midfielders and a track history of playing players in various roles on the field, Pinto got the call as the No. 9, a move that paid immediate dividends.

Pinto drew a penalty to open the scoring in the season opener, a 5-1 romp over the Houston Dash, and notched her second start of the season back at WakeMed Soccer Park on March 30, with her first goal of 2024 in a gritty 1-0 win over Gotham FC.

“I think just being in a new role is obviously a learning moment. But I love playing the No. 9 just because I’m close to goal and there’s nothing more special than getting to score,” Pinto told reporters in the postgame press conference after the win over Gotham.

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Star in the making – Equalizer Soccer

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Emeri Adames stands with her arms folded and a massive smile on her face. She is posing in front of gold drapery in the Reign's dark blue home kit with gold accents.


Photo Copyright Jane Gershovich for Seattle Reign FC

SEATTLE — As calendars turned to December, Emeri Adames was graduating high school and preparing for life playing college soccer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Dallas, Texas, native was not planning on going pro. She had committed to a Tarheels program that is consistently one of the best in the nation as one of the nation’s top recruits.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Seattle Reign came calling. Discussions began in late December and an invite to preseason soon followed. Adames still wasn’t set on going pro but, time training with the Reign changed everything.

“It was definitely a really hard decision. I have so much respect for UNC coaches, and I have such a good connection with them still, I talked to them. But it was just mainly this team,” Adames told The Equalizer.

It has been Adames’ goal ever since she was young to go pro but she didn’t think it would happen so soon.

“It wasn’t like I was just trying to go pro just to go pro,” Adames said. “I found my place and I found a great team that would support me and the staff that really wanted me to grow as a player and I saw their visions for me. And so I talked to my family and we had a lot of conversations and that’s what led me to this decision.”

The Reign were just as excited to sign Adames as she was to join the team. Speaking after Adames’ NWSL debut, in the regular season opener, head coach Laura Harvey admitted that “honestly, within two days [of preseason] I was like ‘we need to sign this kid, she is special.’”

Harvey was almost gleeful talking about Adames, forewarning media “You wait, this kid’s unbelievable.”

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What to keep and what to change from the SheBelieves Cup – Equalizer Soccer

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The USWNT celebrates winning the SheBelieves Cup


Photo Copyright The Columbus Dispatch

On Tuesday night, the United States won its seventh SheBelieves Cup in nine years. This victory was secured in thrilling fashion – a full-time draw led to penalty kicks and featured goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher not only saving shots but also burying one of her own. But, as the post-match excitement died down, fans and followers immediately honed in on the predictable follow-up question to an international tournament: what could this mean for the Olympics? 

In short, a lot! This tournament saw some predictably solid play from Olympic roster shoo-ins like Lindsay Horan, whose abilities to consistently generate plays, draw fouls, and score goals looked as reliable as ever. Mallory Swanson returned from injury to the international stage for the first time in a year and has never looked faster or more eager for a goal. And joining her up front were Jaedyn Shaw and Sophia Smith, who more than earned their keep with goals throughout the tournament. 

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