WATCH: A closer look at Lindsey Horan’s Lyon debut

Lindsey Horan, on loan from Portland Thorns FC, made her Olympique Lyonnais debut today. Horan came on as a substitute, making her first Women’s Division 1 appearance since December 15, 2015, when she played her last game for Paris Saint-Germain.

Horan arrived under less than ideal circumstances. She replaced Janice Cayman in the 58th minute. Two minutes earlier, Eugénie Le Sommer received a second yellow card and was sent off, reducing Lyon to 10 players. Lyon were one goal in the right thanks to a strike from Melvine Malard but needed to see a slim lead while playing down a player for over 30 minutes as Bordeaux pushed for an equaliser.

Despite the circumstances in which Horan made her debut, she has shown glimpses of what she can bring to the seven-time European champions, especially in the absence of injured midfielders Amandine Henry, Damaris Egurrola, Danielle van de Donk and Amel Majri.

Horan came on and made an immediate impact in Sonia Bompastor’s side. She immediately got to work, receiving the ball in the center of the field from Delphine Cascarino, who drifted inside.

Horan turned to avoid the pressure and returned the ball to Wendie Renard. The central defender swung it at Perle Morroni. She returned it to Horan, who made himself an easy option for Morroni. Horan inspected the pitch before playing an incisive pass to Cascarino.

Cascarino returned the ball to Morroni and the left-back returned it to Horan again. Horan linked with Renard, who played him at Cascarino. The striker received with her back to goal as Horan raced forward. Cascarino played it to Horan, who played it to USWNT teammate Catarina Macario.

Lyon came down the left and recycled it to Horan. The loan from Thorns swung it in the center and Lyon tried to go down on the right. Horan then drifted to the right to offer as an option and helped create a power play.

Horan recovered the ball from Ellie Carpenter and hit a penetrating ball for the first time to Macario. The move culminated when Macario fed Cascarino, who kicked the ball into the side netting.


The offense didn’t result in a goal, but it demonstrated just how influential Horan can be in assembling passes and dictating the flow of play. It also showed his ability to play multiple types of progressive passes and showed a great understanding of how to relate and distance themselves from Lyon players despite having only recently signed for the club. These relationships are bound to improve over time and both Horan and Lyon will obviously benefit from having an equal number of players on the pitch in future games.

Horan also had a deeper positive impact in ball possession and demonstrated a good understanding of how to play with Lyon star Ada Hegerberg, who came on in the 63rd minute for Cascarino.


Horan showed great vision to receive and then acknowledge Hegerberg’s move before making an entry pass to the Norwegian striker. Hegerberg was then able to change his point of attack quickly and found Morroni in space on the left.

The Thorns loanee was also able to play well under pressure. Horan was surrounded by three defenders and calmly brought the ball back from her chest before pulverizing what would have been a delicious cross pass if the referee hadn’t intervened.


Horan also came forward and showed her understanding of Hegerberg’s tendencies. As Hegerberg falls and pulls his defender forward, Horan makes a run that exploits the vacated space behind the defender Hegerberg being dragged out of position.


Overall, Horan put in a solid debut performance for Lyon, especially as Lyon played their entire substitute performance against one player. Horan was always able to play an influential role in the build and has already developed chemistry with integral Lyon players like Hegerberg.

Horan registered a shot on target via a header, made a recovery, a tackle, won a foul and completed 11 of 12 passes in just over 30 minutes of action.


Lindsey Horan has always been a player who excels in a more European style system where she is able to play with the ball often. She enjoys dictating the tempo and playing intricate passes – all of which she will have ample opportunity to do for Lyon. It was just a 30-minute substitute appearance but Bompastor must be pleased with how quickly Horan integrated into the squad and made a positive impact. Thorns’ loan will be in high demand as Olympique Lyonnais seek to reclaim the French league title and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Horan and Lyon are back in action on Friday February 11 against ASJ Soyaux-Charente. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 a.m. PT and can be streamed on atafootball.com.

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