Spain defeated England to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup while the United States team watched from home.
It was the first time the women’s team failed to make it to at least the semifinals, having lost in the quarterfinals to Sweden.
The USWNT had a very disappointing tournament in general, which led to manager Vlatko Andonovski resigning from the role last week amidst the criticism.
While plenty of former women’s players have voiced their frustrations with the way the current team played, USWNT star Lindsey Horan has also made it clear that she was not happy with the coaching strategy used during the World Cup.
During her appearance on The RE-CAP Show with former USWNT players Tobin Heath and Christen Press, Horan made her feelings on the situation very clear.
“I made it a point to help Soph Smith as much as possible in this tournament because I think she has a lot of pressure on her back,” Horan said. “I want to make sure she’s in a good place and some of the younger players are in a really good place, because they’re going to have massive roles. And so it was like, could I have done more to help those players? Because I don’t think we got the absolute best out of some of them because of the way that we were set up, and some of the things that we did in the game.”
She added that the game plan against Sweden didn’t make a lot of sense to her.
“The game against Sweden, I don’t think we were necessarily set up to play the way that we played,” Horan said. “That was just us finally coming together and being like, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ And then it worked and then it’s like, ‘OK, keep doing it.’ Could that have happened earlier? Maybe. It’s a really tough one.”
Horan added that she’s been racking her brain trying to figure out what she could have done to help the U.S. win and maintain its dominance in international play, but felt stifled by the situation.
“Like what the heck could I have done to help or to push our playing style or to push this bravery?” she asked. “And at the end of the day, it’s like you’re set up in a structure to do this. And here’s your opportunity individually, like just go play within the structure.”
It’ll be interesting to see who replaces Andonovski and what their coaching strategy is moving forward.