United States Women’s Soccer Team captain Lindsey Horan stirred the pot with some controversial comments about her own fanbase in a recent story from “The Athletic.”
Ironically, in the piece, Horan says the USWNT is “one of the most talked about teams” and is “always in the magnifying glass on every single thing we do or anything we say.”
Horan, of course, isn’t wrong, especially considering many members of the team have largely been outspoken on social justice issues in the country.
But she certainly didn’t do herself any favors by saying “most” American soccer fans “aren’t smart.”
“They don’t know the game. They don’t understand,” she said, but noting that “it’s getting better and better.”
“I’m gonna p— off some people,” she continued, “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? My mom does it! My mom says, ‘Julie Foudy said you had such a good game!’ And I’m here, just going, ‘I was f—ing s–t today.'”
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That comment did not sit well with Alexi Lalas, a former star for the U.S. men’s team turned FOX commentator.
Lalas said Horan had a “bold strategy” when negatively commenting on a fanbase that’s already scarce in the U.S.
“So, not satisfied with already turning off many Americans who don’t watch soccer, evidently the #USWNT has now set their sights on turning off many Americans who do watch soccer. Bold strategy,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Lalas went on to say that he “like[s]” Horan, and there actually is “lots [of players] to like” on the USWNT.
“I just disagree with her low opinion of American soccer fans. But even if she truly believes what she’s saying, seems like a strange and needless shot to take at a time when the #USWNT is desperate to rehabilitate its image,” he wrote in a separate post.
“I actually think American soccer fans are arguably some of the most educated, interesting, and well-rounded in the game,” Lalas wrote, contradicting Horan. “In a country where soccer isn’t king, American soccer fans have often had to seek and discover the game, domestically and internationally. . . . This means American soccer fans are often more educated about that world than others.”
The USWNT were stunned by Sweden in penalty kicks, by far their worst finish ever, in last year’s World Cup. In the previous eight Women’s World Cups, they never finished worse than third place.
Their group stage game against Vietnam, though, was the second-most watched group stage game in Women’s World Cup history.
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