Soccer-US can grow under Hayes’ leadership, says captain Horan

By Thomson Reuters May 30, 2024 | 6:05 PM

(Reuters) – Fans can expect a sharper United States women’s team with coach Emma Hayes on the sidelines for the first time, captain Lindsey Horan said ahead of Saturday’s friendly with South Korea.

The U.S. are out for redemption after last year’s disastrous World Cup campaign, eyeing the top of the Olympic podium in Paris this year with the former Chelsea manager at the helm.

“It’s really exciting for this team because you get challenged in a different way. And now all these players, we’re thinking more, we’re doing more,” said Horan.

“You’re going to see a lot of growth in this team.”

Hayes, 47, was hired in November but did not join the U.S. in an official capacity until this month after she had claimed her seventh WSL crown with west London side Chelsea.

She called up 27 players for her first training camp, with Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan a late addition, and the squad has little time to waste to prepare for the Paris Olympics that kick off in July.

The 30-year-old Horan, who is gunning for a third trip to the Games, told reporters the camp was a chance for players to “step up.”

“It’s going to be a process and a really exciting one as well – a lot of learning for me and growth for the entire team and myself,” said Horan.

The four-times gold medallists play South Korea on Saturday in Commerce City, Colorado, and again on Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)