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Yalla Shoot :Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan Named USA Captains Ahead of 2023 Women’s World Cup | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

San Diego's Alex Morgan plays during an NWSL soccer match against Chicago, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

AP Photo/Denis Poroy

Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan have been named captains for Team USA entering the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski made the announcement on Friday, citing the big-game experience for both players:

“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.”

Becky Sauerbrunn, who has been captain for the U.S. national team since 2021, will miss the World Cup due to a foot injury she suffered in April while playing for the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Morgan has worn the captain’s armband a total of 22 times in her storied career with Team USA. The 34-year-old most recently donned it in the 2019 World Cup semifinal against England when she scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Horan’s ascent to captain came after she received an endorsement from Sauerbrunn during a June 22 appearance on Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis’ podcast (stats at 30:00 mark).

Even though Andonovski didn’t formally name team captains until Friday, there have been some clues leading up to this announcement. Horan joined her head coach, Morgan and Megan Rapinoe at the microphone for Team USA’s media day on June 27.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team @USWNT

All smiles in LA for World Cup Media Day😊 <a href=”https://t.co/TeejkGsbH9″>pic.twitter.com/TeejkGsbH9</a>

Horan, Morgan and Mallory Swanson are the only players on the current U.S. roster who have started at least six games for the team so far this year. The 29-year-old has been on the national squad since 2013 with 128 appearances during that span.

When both players are on the field at the same time, Horan will wear the captain’s armband. She scored two goals for the United States in the 2019 World Cup.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup begins on July 20 with Australia and New Zealand sharing hosting duties. Team USA will open play in Group E against Vietnam on July 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

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