Lindsey Horan took exception to Carli Lloyd’s criticism of the U.S. women’s national team, calling the comments “frustrating” but also just “noise” the team must tune out ahead of its match against Sweden.
Lloyd, who played with Horan on the 2019 World Cup team but is covering this tournament as a Fox Sports analyst, had harsh words for the USWNT following its 0-0 draw against Portugal to close out the group stage. She played with most of the current USWNT roster and for coach Vlatko Andonovski before her retirement in 2021, but questioned the culture and mentality of the team of the 2023 squad.
While Andonovski called it “insane” to question the team’s mentality, Horan dismissed the criticism the team has faced as “noise.”
“It’s kind of frustrating for me to hear, especially knowing this team and knowing how much we put into every single game, how much preparation we put into every single game, seeing our trainings, seeing how hard we work,” Horan said Thursday.
“Again, it’s noise and, again, it’s an opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion — we know that’s how it goes. But for me, I always want to defend my team and say: You have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. You have no idea every single training what we’re doing individually, collectively, et cetera.”
Lloyd attempted to clarify her postgame comments Wednesday, noting that she wants people “to understand that I care deeply about this team” and that the comments were coming from a place of caring. She also noted that her comments were “based off a legacy” of success that has been passed down through USWNT generations.
And while Horan said the questions of the team’s fortitude “hurt,” she and her teammates are doing their best to tune them out.
“For anyone to question our mentality hurts a little bit but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really care,” she said. “It’s what’s going inside of the team and getting ready for that next game.”
Admittedly, the USWNT did not play well against Portugal – players have said as much. Still, they have reached the knockout stage and are are setting their sights on Sweden, who they will face at 5 a.m. ET Sunday.
“In this game, you can’t question that we didn’t want to win the game, you can’t question that we weren’t working as hard as we possibly could,” Horan said. “We know that things could have been better, we know that we could have done more, we know that we could’ve scored opportunities.”