[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...] Lindsey Horan is considered one of the top strikers to come along in the girls national
team program in recent years. The North Carolina recruit out of Colorado Rush is one of the stars of the U.S. under-20 national team headed to Panama City for Concacaf qualifying that begins next
week. For four things to know about Horan ...
HEADED TO PANAMA CITY. Horan was the only high school player among the 12 midfielders and forwards Coach Steve Swanson picked for Concacaf U-20 qualifying. She says she did not expect to make the team, but she more than earned her spot, scoring four goals on the team's recent trip to La Manga, Spain. Scoring is nothing new to Horan. She had 11 goals in eight international matches for the U-17s in 2010. Nine came in U-17 qualifying, where after outscoring its opposition 32-0 in group play, the USA fell to Canada in a shootout in the semifinals and failed to advance to the world championship.
FRENCH LESSONS. Boys often travel abroad to train with foreign clubs. It's much rarer for American girls. But Horan was invited to train with European club champion Lyon last fall for what she called a "lifetime experience." During her two weeks with the club, she got to play in a friendly tournament and even scored in its championship game. Lyon is one of few European clubs that treat the women like pros and Horan was amazed at the facilities. She also got to see some top-level soccer.
GIRL AMONG BOYS. One of the toughest decisions of Horan's young career was to join Colorado Rush's U-16 boys team in the spring rather than play high school girls soccer at Golden High School. (Boys high school in Colorado is in the fall.) For a striker, the experience was invaluable because she learned how to use her body and take punish -- both physical and verbal.
BACKYARD GAMES. Horan honed her skills playing with her older brother Mike in their backyard. Sometimes they'd invite friends over and organized one-on-one contests.