Perhaps the average USWNT fan does not know much about the teenage sensation, Lindsey Horan. After her first-ever senior team roster selection, and predicted debut in the upcoming Algarve Cup, that will almost certainly no longer be the case.
The 18-year-old's path to the senior national team is an unorthodox one. Most of her career has been unique.
Instead of attending college and competing in the NCAA, Horan left the states for Europe, specifically France and the famous club, Paris Saint-Germain, to play professional soccer.
She is the first member of the senior women's U.S. team to forgo college as well as the first American woman to ever get a professional contract in Europe immediately following high school.
Instead of playing high school soccer, Horan chose to play club ball for the Littleton, Colorado club, the Colorado Rush.
The 5'9" striker has been a regular for the U.S. women on the U-20 team, leading the group in goals last year. She was sidelined for the U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan due to a knee injury.
She should get her chance to show the world her game in one of the most highly regarded women's soccer tournaments in just a scant few days.
Horan is known for speed, power and finishing.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Tom Sermanni utilizes Horan in his lineup. The obvious strike pairing of 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Alex Morgan and winner Abby Wambach will be difficult to supersede. Super sub Sydney Leroux is also in the mix at forward.
That said, if Horan can prove she is capable of playing with her back to the goal in a traditional No. 9 role, she might be the perfect replacement going forward for the aging Wambach.
It should be fascinating, regardless. Sermanni definitely has some tactical decisions to make in the coming days.
The U.S. women open the Algarve Cup against Iceland on March 6. They face China on March 8 and finish up group play against Sweden and their former coach Pia Sundhage on March 11.
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