41. Lindsey Horan
Lindsey Horan came up big when Portland Thorns needed her most, and it’s scary for the rest of the league to remember she’s only 23.
Horan twice won NWSL Goal of the Week and also won Player of the Week during the first half of the domestic season, but it was in August she began to show her worth after being named in the league’s team of the month.
The midfielder then popped up when needed most to score the winner in the NWSL Championship game against North Carolina Courage, as well as being named in the NWSL Second team of the Season.
Overall, Horan chipped in with four goals and a couple of assists and started every Thorns game during their historic season. Horan was also a consistent member of the USWNT throughout 2017 and is fast approaching her 50th cap for her country.
Jill Ellis, USA national team head coach says:
“The consistency she’s had with her club team has given her confidence. She’s coming into the National Team environment and playing in a position where she’s comfortable. She’s very skillful, has a great ability to read the game, and obviously, an excellent aerial presence. Lindsey is hitting her mark, so I’m really pleased for her.”
Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns manager says:
“Lindsey got an injury and missed the whole of pre-season, her pre-season was the first four to six games. In the final 12 games, there wasn’t a more impactful player in this league, she was a machine in the box-to-box role we gave her.
“As soon as we saw her there last season we wondered why we hadn’t played there earlier, she’s got it all and she can go on to be one of the best centre midfielders. She’s keeping Allie Long out of the team, Amandine Henry is one of the best midfielders I’ve ever coached, but Horan had a huge impact for us.
“She scored a goal for us this season where she pinged a ball out to Meghan Klingenberg and what a pass it was, if I’d played that I’d be stood clapping myself for 10 minutes. Lindsey sprinted and got into the box and headed home the cross, she was unreal and she scored big goals in big games, including the NWSL final, that just sums her up.”
Lori Lindsey, former USA international says:
“She’s different to most American players. Calm and collected on the ball and has the ability to penetrate back lines with her final pass and dribbling ability. She understands the game well tactically, making her a “go to” player in the midfield for the USA.”
Jen Cooper, US women’s football writer says:
“Lindsey Horan firmly established herself as the go-to midfielder in 2017, successfully combining her tactical awareness, technical prowess and physical strength for both club and country. She started every match for the Portland Thorns, helping her club advance to the NWSL championship for the first time since 2013. Horan scored that game’s only goal as the Thorns nabbed the trophy and she earned MVP honors.
“The second half of the international schedule saw Horan cement her place in the USWNT midfield – the majority of her minutes and stars came after July, as did the Americans’ success on the score sheet. Horan followed up with NWSL championship MVP trophy by starting three of the final four USWNT games of the year, earning “Woman of the Match” honors twice.”