For U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) soccer idol Carli Lloyd, the recent weeks have been filled with mixed emotions. A member of the USWNT since 2005, the legend is now days away from her final match with Team USA and the start of her retirement from international play.
On Thursday night in Kansas City, Kansas, a cornucopia of emotions also circulated through the emerging team veteran Lindsey Horan.
As if it wasn’t enough for the cordial 27-year old to be celebrated for her 100 caps before a vibrant and spirited crowd within Children’s Mercy Park, Horan also learned that Lloyd will be passing down her #10 jersey number to the Colorado Rush Pro Development product.
During her meeting with members of the media after the match, Horan said “I’ve cried about seven times today. In the meeting we had before the game, Carli presented the jersey to me with my name and the No. 10 on it. And I think it was probably one of the most special moments of my career.”
She added, “Carli doing that for me and giving me the opportunity to wear her jersey, I’m so honored. And I’m going to try to represent it in the best way I possibly can and think of her every time I put it on.”
To top it off her day, she also was informed that she would captain the Lady Yanks against the Republic of Korea, and was given the prestigious armband in the U.S. locker room.
For the consistent, caring, and often courageous Horan, the honor of being the stars and stripes captain played right into her admirable character traits.
Prior to the match, Horan had her family at her side as she was recognized for reaching 100 international caps, which she earned at the recent Tokyo Summer Olympics. Horan not only achieved the milestone July 24 against New Zealand, she also scored her 23rd international goal.
The 27-year old metro Denver native is now the 41st USWNT player to earn the honor and the 18th youngest, overall.
Horan translated her bolus of emotions into her team play from start to end of the back-and-forth game. It was her 105th cap and she was aiming to add to her 23 goals and 33 assists.
In the 12th minute of the match, Horan launched a left-footed rocket from near the top of the box. The shot skinned the left post and just missed finding the back of the net. Six minutes later, she found an incoming cross from defender Kelley O’Hara and attempted a frontal header that too missed its mark as it was suppressed by South Korea’s stellar goalkeeper, Yoon Young-geul.
In the second half, with her fellow Coloradoans Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith at her flanks, Horan pushed up and joined the duo in hopes of breaking the stalemate. Lloyd came in for Alex Morgan at striker, and the Colorado trio made her their primary target. A barrage of passes and crosses were directed at the charging Lloyd, however, her opposing marks suffocated her valiant efforts to score and appease the roaring supporters who stood a matter of feet from behind the U.S. goal.
The tense game ended in a nil-nil draw and nixed the Yanks’ 22-game at-home winning streak. The two teams will play again in St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, October 26, in what has been billed as a show-stopping, curtain-calling celebration for Carli Lloyd.