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Colorado’s Lindsey Horan ascends to new heights with USWNT

Now wearing the number 10 and captain’s band on her arm, the sky is the limit for this Colorado Rush product

Australia v USWNT Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

At an early age, Lindsey Horan showed potential. Staff members of the Colorado Rush Youth Soccer Club saw so much potential in the spunky, brown-haired girl that they recruited her to their rising U12 Nike Team. With both a nudge and sign of approval from her mother and assistant coach Linda Horan, Lindsey took the plunge into the competitive pool — and she never looks back, except to reflect and compliment those that helped her along the way.

Fast forward to 2021, with 108 appearances, 25 goals, and 34 assists with the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) under her belt, the 27-year-old is poised for greatness.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

During their match against the Korea Republic on October 21 in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S. Soccer recognized Horan’s 100th cap. That same night, Horan received her new number as it was handed down from the legend Carli Lloyd, who retired after their second match vs. the Korea Republic in Minneapolis.

When asked by the Burgundy Wave about the handoff USWNT head coach, Vlatko Andonovski commented, “Lindsey wanted number 10. Carli was nice enough to give it to her. Carli was very happy to pass on that number 10 to Lindsey because of how Lindsey has handled herself and how she has developed the environment. And Carli knows that that the number 10 will be represented in the best possible manner while Lindsey is wearing it.”

But wearing the infamous number 10 is no featherweight matter. In the game of soccer, it comes with both high expectations and a certain amount of prestige.

With the help of her sports psychologist, personal grit, determination, and a string of successes, Horan has all that it takes to rise to the next echelon as a player-commander with the Lady Yanks. Ten is indeed the most suitable number. She will wear it with a mountain of can-do, self-confidence that she has steadily accrued over her career.

Andonovski expects no less from her. “Now, the next chapter for Lindsey in our environment or in the national team is going to be to take on a little bit bigger role as a leader on and off the field,” he said. “She’s an incredible player. She’s a total footballer who knows the game. Very versatile. But it’s time for her to just stop, take it to the next level, and be able to control games, and also be a leader.”

When Lloyd agree to the request, 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 number 10 on it. And I think it was probably one of the most special moments of my career.” She continued, “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.”

Horan officially started to wear the number in Australia this month during a two-game series with the Matildas. Lloyd took notice.

Also noticeable on Horan has been the captain’s armband. She first wore it in Kansas City against the Korea Republic.

After the game, she told the Burgundy Wave that it may have been the first time she wore the band since she played with Colorado Rush. “It was really cool. It is a very special ritual that we have on the USWNT. I was honored. You have seen the players who have worn the captain’s band before. It was really special.” Fans of Horan should expect to see more of that when the team reassembles early next year.

Horan’s successes have been derived from an array of sources. Much credit is due to the organization that underwrote her incremental strides since she first laced up her colorful kid-sized boots.

“Colorado Rush obviously was my youth club and they’ve given me a lot. They did a lot to get me to this point. I think the coaches that I had there, the environment that we have, it’s a very professional environment and kind of a feeder system into pro-life,” said Horan during an interview with the Burgundy Wave. Horan raves about her mentors, Tim Schultz and Eric Bushey. Her all-encompassing coach and technical director mom, wise businessman dad, too.

“I think the way that Rush teaches their players on how they need to be their Core Values is something that really prepares us for where we’re at today, and really prepared me,” she added. The Rush Core Values are an integral aspect of the international soccer organization, founded in 1997 in Denver. Its headquarters are in New York City and Rush partners with more than 80 youth and professional clubs around the globe.

Soon after recovering from COVID-19 in late 2020, she was got back to her usual ways in the West Denver Rush fieldhouse playing alongside college-age Rush USL2 players and prospects.

“I always want to give back and I think I could say as a young player there we had a bunch of alums that would always make their way back and make appearances and have someone, especially us young players, to look up to. I feel like I’ve always wanted to be that for someone else. So, anytime that I can go back and see these young players or go play with the boys who can, you know sometimes kick my butt, I want to.”

The coast-to-coast system has spun-out several notable athletics including the likes of Christian Pulisic, Mallory Webb, Meg Buckingham, plus dozens of metro-Denver locals including Jordan Angeli, Jeb Brovsky, Cole Bassett, Conor Casey, Brian Mullan, Bobby Burling, Collen Warner, and James Riley.

Since about the age of 16, Horan has been attending the Rush Alumni week in December, when professional, university, coaches, and member players come together and just play.

Very little holds Horan from going back to the organization she loves. What she gives to her professional team, the Portland Thorns, and the international squad, Team USA, she equally gives to her youth club — and her loyal fans.

ISI Photos/U.S. Soccer