Women’s National Team soccer stars celebrate homecoming game in Denver

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DENVER — Two of Colorado’s top homegrown athletes have dreams of gold. For Lindsey Horan, they started in Golden.

“It’s kind of a dream come true,” Horan’s mom Linda says of her daughter playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team. “She’s wanted that since she was a little girl. It still feels kind of surreal.”

Mallory Pugh’s passion for the game was born nearby in Highlands Ranch.

“The memories of taking her up to the soccer field — kicking balls with her and everything else — it’s paid off,” said Pugh’s dad Horace.

Now, the duo is home in Denver with the USWNT to play Australia in a friendly on Thursday. After traveling the world to represent their country, their success has brought them back to where it all started.

“She would have soccer balls all over the place and kicking balls around,” says Pugh’s mom Karen. “All my walls were marked up.”

“It’s so cool that she’s one of the best players in the world now, coming from these simple roots here in this park right here,” Horan’s dad Mark says of where her soccer career began. “It’s cool to know she’s achieved what she’s achieved.”

From simple roots to the biggest stage, both Pugh and Horan have their sights set on playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this June in France. But first, it’s time for some home cooking.

“She gets to come home for dinner tomorrow night, so I said, ‘Do you want to go out to dinner?'” said Karen Pugh. “And she said, ‘No, can you guys cook?'”

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