In case you were wondering, Lindsey Horan is still very good at soccer. The USWNT played two friendlies against Colombia on Monday and Friday of last week. Horan started the first match and played 64 minutes. In the second match, she subbed in at the 63rd minute.
A quick look at the scoreline and you will only come across Horan’s name once. But that doesn’t tell the full story. This was Horan’s first action since the end of the NWSL Fall Series. She missed out on the friendly against the Netherlands because she received a positive COVID-19 test.
It didn’t take Horan long to do something jaw dropping. In the fourth minute, Horan received the ball between two Colombian defenders and played a mesmerizing pass to the onrushing Megan Rapinoe. Four Colombians could do nothing but watch as Horan played the ball with her left foot. Rapinoe got on the end of the pass and calmly squared it for Samantha Mewis’s first goal of the night.
Fast start in Florida! @mPinoe back to her tricks, @sammymewy finding the back of the net! pic.twitter.com/llw4xZO8M1— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) January 19, 2021
A little less than a half hour later, Horan got her second ‘MLS assist.’ Horan drifted to the left, Rapinoe passed to Julie Ertz, and Ertz played it to Horan. Horan set herself up with the perfect touch and lofted a pin-point cross to the forehead of Carli Lloyd. Lloyd headed it across goal and Sam Mewis arrived to secure a brace.
That's ✌️ for the @USWNT! @sammymewy again! pic.twitter.com/c8KmOof2ey— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 19, 2021
Mewis had to have been pretty happy to have the creative force that is Lindsey Horan on the pitch again. The second half kicked off and Mewis headed an Abby Dahlkemper long ball into stride for Horan. Horan’s quick touch took the ball away from the Colombian defender and the midfielder was brought down in the box. Mewis calmly converted the penalty to complete her hat trick.
In the second match, Horan entered as a second half sub and again made her presence felt. She got free in the box courtesy of some good movement and a little shove. Crystal Dunn’s service found Horan’s foot and she perfectly placed her finish between the goalkeeper and the near-post defender.
Always there when you call. Always on time @LindseyHoran with her 20th goal finishing off the corner from @Cdunn19! pic.twitter.com/SmPwbCTwjW— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) January 23, 2021
Horan displayed her vision and creativity again to help create the sixth and final goal of the night. She was able to identify Lloyd’s run into the box and the space behind the defense. Horan played a dink ball over the top that was helped on by a Colombian defender before Lloyd recorded the assist for Margaret Purce’s first USWNT goal.
I mean, if this doesn't just spark joy ✨— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) January 23, 2021
What a ball by @CarliLloyd, what a run by @100Purcent pic.twitter.com/YKte2tv0kH
Horan played an integral role in the creation of five of the ten goals scored by the USWNT in their two matches against Colombia. Her vision and creative ability set her apart from almost every other midfielder in the USWNT player pool, bar Rose Lavelle.
Horan was left out of the starting 11 for the World Cup Final in 2019 and a couple other big matches throughout the tournament. It is clear that angered her and she is fighting to be a must-start in Vlatko Andonovski’s midfield for the Olympics.
She was one of the top two players in Concacaf Olympic Qualifying and continues to display her importance to the USWNT. At the Olympics, Horan is sure to get a lot of minutes. The squad will have to be rotated because they are required to play every three days. But Horan doesn’t just want to start matches; she wants to start in big matches and be that difference maker, and she is making that point in these performances.