U.S. women’s national soccer team Coach Vlatko Andonovski revealed on Friday that Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan will serve as captains for the World Cup squad in Australia and New Zealand this summer, in light of Becky Sauerbrunn’s absence. Andonovski stated, “We have a lot of leaders on this team among the young players and the veteran players, and among those, Lindsey and Alex have vast experience in big games, and they understand what it takes to win at the highest levels. They are ultimate professionals and understand all the factors that go into having a united and motivated team. I know they will represent us well on and off the field at the World Cup.”
The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced that when Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan are both on the field, Horan will wear the captain’s armband. In the previous 2019 World Cup squad under former coach Jill Ellis, Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Carli Lloyd served as captains. In situations where more than one of them was playing, the player with the highest number of international appearances would wear the armband.
Since January 2021, Becky Sauerbrunn had been the sole captain. However, due to a foot injury preventing her from participating in this summer’s tournament, Coach Andonovski had to make a change. He communicated his decision to the players at the beginning of last week during the training camp held in greater Los Angeles. The announcement was made public prior to the U.S. team’s send-off match against Wales in San Jose on Sunday afternoon.
Alex Morgan, aged 34, has an impressive record of 206 caps and 121 goals, and will be participating in her fourth World Cup. She has previously played in 18 World Cup matches and scored nine goals, contributing to the USA’s triumphs in both 2015 and 2019. Lindsey Horan, aged 29, has earned 128 caps and scored 27 goals. This will be her second World Cup appearance, having played a crucial role in the USA’s title victory four years ago. She has competed in six World Cup games, scoring two goals.
Morgan has previously served as captain on 22 occasions, with her first captaincy starting on January 23, 2016, coinciding with her 100th cap for the USWNT. During the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she wore the armband in three significant matches: the final group stage match against Sweden, the thrilling 2-1 quarterfinal victory over France, and the crucial 2-1 semifinal win against England, where she celebrated her 30th birthday by scoring the game-winning goal.
Most recently, Morgan captained the USA in the opening game of the 2023 SheBelieves Cup against Canada, where she was honored for earning her 200th cap. Morgan reached this milestone during the USA’s final match of 2022 against Germany.
Horan, on the other hand, has led the team as captain nine times, with her first captaincy occurring on October 21, 2021, during the USA’s match against Korea Republic, where she was honored for her 100th cap. Horan achieved this milestone during the delayed Tokyo Olympics, specifically in the match against New Zealand.
In 2022, Horan captained the USA on five occasions, including during the group stage victory over Jamaica at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. She also wore the armband in significant end-of-year matches against England on October 7 at Wembley Stadium and against Germany on November 10 in Florida.
Horan’s most recent captaincy came during the 1-0 victory over Japan at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup in Nashville.
It is worth noting that several other players have worn the captain’s armband for the USA during matches, with the tradition of honoring players for earning their 100th or 200th cap by allowing them to captain the team in the respective game.