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Lindsey Horan says most American fans still “don’t know the game”

Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan talk during the 2023 FIFA World Cup. (Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lindsey Horan thinks that while U.S. soccer fans are becoming more adept at knowing the game, they still have a little ways to go.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Horan – who was a co-captain of the national team at last summer’s World Cup – spoke about her time with the USWNT, as well as the decision she made to move to France and play with Olympique Lyonnais.

Speaking about the knowledge of American soccer fans, Horan says that most will take what the television analysts are saying at face value rather than attempting to understand performances for themselves.

“American soccer fans, most of them aren’t smart,” she told The Athletic. “They don’t know the game. They don’t understand. (But) it’s getting better and better.”

She then spoke further, giving an example – her mom.

“I’m going to piss off some people, but the game is growing in the U.S. People are more and more knowledgeable, but so much of the time people take what the commentators say, right?” she continued. “My mom does it! My mom says, ‘Julie Foudy [a commentator and former USWNT midfielder] said you had such a good game!’ And I’m here just going, ‘I was f—ing s— today.'”

The 29-year-old midfielder then went on to say that her experience in France has been different, citing the culture around the sport in the country.

“From what I’ve heard, people understand my game a little bit more, a sense of my football and the way I play,” Horan said. “It is the French culture. Everyone watches football. People know football.”

She also called out one other small difference between European and American soccer – with Horan saying that American teams in the NWSL aren’t taking things as seriously. One example: teams beginning to use the pre-match starting XI photo as an occasion for some silliness.

“I want professionalism,” she said. “Those little things, they really irked me. I don’t think I could do it, and maybe I’m wrong in saying that, I don’t know. It just bothers me. We put so much into this game, and it’s just like a joke sometimes.”

And while she understands that might work for some, it doesn’t for her.

“We need to get back to the football. The football is the most important thing” she continued. “So maybe we should knock some of the s— out for now. We need to focus on the game, we need to focus on being the absolute best we can be.”