US Women’s National Soccer Team returns to Colorado for friendly match

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s a new beginning for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

On Saturday, the women’s team will return to Colorado as head coach Emma Hayes makes her debut against Korea Republic.

“It’s awesome to have Emma here in person and in trainings,” captain Lindsey Horan explained after the first practice with new leadership. “It’s a great vibe to feel the atmosphere and see her as coach.”

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An English soccer legend, Hayes inherits a team just two months before the Olympics. The squad is set to play two friendlies against Korea.

“The main goal and priority is the process and learning, adapting, growing and taking it in each day,” said forward Sophia Smith. “It’s a chance to get better and grow with this group.”

It’s a homecoming for Smith, Horan and Mallory Swanson, who were all raised in Colorado. The trio are key components for international success.

“It’s so good to be home,” Smith said with excitement. ”I love Colorado. I love coming home and it’s nice to play here.”

For Swanson, the homecoming is bittersweet as she continues to recover from a torn patellar tendon in 2023.

“I think I learned a lot of myself,” Swanson recalled. “I had the support from not only my family and friends but also my teammates and coaches as well.”

New coach Emma Hayes conducts 1st practice with US women’s soccer team at CU

There are a lot of moving parts before this group heads to Paris. The fourth-ranked team understands that the pressure will be squarely on them.

“It’s great playing here in Colorado, as well as super exciting for me,” explained Horan. “But I think the full focus is more than getting this team ready and prepped for these two games, but also for getting ready for the Olympics.”

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