Making the Case: Lindsey Horan, 2018 Female Player of the Year

WNT - Lindsey Horan
WNT - Lindsey Horan

On Nov. 20, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. This year's nominees are midfielders Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan; and forwards Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. As we continue “Making the Case” for each of the candidates, today we feature Lindsey Horan.

Named the 2018 NWSL MVP and to the NWSL Best XI for the Portland Thorns, Lindsey Horan had a monster year for both club and country.

She scored 13 goals for the Thorns in 2018, which was third best in the league and also had two assists. She played every minute of all 22 regular games in which she appeared and was the fulcrum of a Thorns attack that scored 40 goals, second only to the champion North Carolina Courage. She also scored the game-winner in the 2-1 semifinal victory over rival Seattle Reign to send her team to the championship game, which it hosted.

For the USA, Horan continued to raise her game in the midfield while contributing greatly to the USA’s attacking rhythm and defense, especially through her aerial abilities, while playing 1,298 minutes in 19 of the USA’s 20 games, 16 of which she started. She was only one of three players (Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan being the other two) to play in 19 games this past year – most on the team. She scored three goals and her eight assists were second best on the team behind Megan Rapinoe.

Her goals came against Mexico and T&T, as well as a dramatic late-game equalizer against Australia that kept the USA’s unbeaten year and its Tournament of Nations hopes alive. She led the USA in assists during World Cup qualifying with five. Horan is also a nominee for the first France Football Women's Ballon d'Or.