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Lindsey Horan accepts anything less than an Olympic final would be a 'failure' for USWNT: 'I love that'
June 27 2024, 08:00

It was early May when Fox Sports' soccer analyst Stu Holden told Fox News Digital bluntly that anything less than a Paris Olympics final for the U.S. women's national soccer team (USWNT) would be a "failure."

"You should [be] going into that tournament with the expectation to win, and I think anything less than the final is a failure," Holden said at the time. 

USWNT captain Lindsey Horan, set for her third Olympics next month, was asked by Fox News Digital if she agrees with Holden. 


She gave a smile and then her answer. 

"I guess that says a lot about what he thinks about our national team, so I love that," Horan said, while discussing her partnership with Francis Ford Coppola Winery and its Diamond Collection launch earlier this week. 

"Again, there’s no added pressure here. We keep talking about the process that we’ve had, everything we’ve been doing to prepare for this Olympics. Now, moving forward as we get there, we’re going to take each game at a time. But, at the end of the day, this is the U.S. women’s national team, and we want to be up on that podium getting a gold medal at the end of the tournament."


The obvious goal for the USWNT is to end the Olympics with a gold medal around their necks, but it has been easier said than done in their last two trips. 

In her first Olympics, Horan saw Team USA fall to Sweden in the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout. Then, at the Tokyo Olympics, the U.S. could not find the back of the net for a 1-0 loss to Canada – the eventual gold-medal winners. 

Horan was on the podium with a bronze medal after defeating Australia in the third-place game, but that is simply not the same.

The USWNT is also coming off a disappointing performance at the 2023 Women's World Cup, where they surprisingly fell to Sweden in penalty kicks during the Round of 16. 

It led the rest of the world to raise the question: Is the USWNT still the dominant force it always has been in the past? 

Carli Lloyd, a USWNT legend, made a direct social media post saying the rest of the world had caught up to the U.S. Horan had her own take.

"I think it’s the way you look at that statement, which I think some people are having a hard time doing," Horan explained. "You can put out there the rest of the world has caught up and caught up in the sense of they are now at the level that we’ve been at for how many major tournaments. How many times have we been in the final of a World Cup, or a major tournament? How many times do you see the U.S. ranked No. 1 in the world?


"This is what you want. You want the competition to get better and better, and that makes it that much more special to go out and win a major tournament. Again, I think it’s how you look at it. I’m really proud of the way women’s football has now shaped, that so many teams are better, so many games are more competitive. Playing in the World Cup against Portugal, who may have not been the hardest group game, was a really difficult game for us. So, I think that’s the perspective I want to look at it. 

"But, at the end of the day, we want our U.S. national team to be back on top. And we’ll do everything to get there."

It is a new era for this USWNT squad, especially with Alex Morgan not being selected by new head coach Emma Hayes for the Olympics, which is the first time she will miss a major international tournament since 2008. Of course, Megan Rapinoe is also done with her time on the pitch for the USWNT, and Julie Ertz is also moving on. 

Horan, 30, is the veteran on a young but hungry team, and while transitions and change are inevitable, the goal remains the same for this squad as it eyes gold in Paris. 

Perhaps securing that precious metal will remind everyone just how dominant the USWNT can be. 

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