Alex Morgan

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Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan training 2012.jpg
Morgan training with the United States national team in 2012
Personal information
Full name Alexandra Patricia Morgan
Date of birth (1989-07-02) July 2, 1989 (age 25)
Place of birth San Dimas, California, United States
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Forward/Striker
Club information
Current team
Portland Thorns FC
Number 13
Youth career
Cypress Elite
2007–2010 California Golden Bears
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2009 West Coast FC 2 (2)
2010 California Storm 3 (5)
2010 Pali Blues 3 (1)
2011 Western New York Flash 13 (4)
2012 Seattle Sounders Women 3 (2)
2013– Portland Thorns FC 28 (13)
National team
2008 United States U20 10 (5)
2010– United States 72 (46)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 23, 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of June 19, 2014

Alexandra Patricia "Alex" Morgan (born July 2, 1989) is an American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist. She is a forward for National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) club Portland Thorns FC and the United States women's national soccer team. Morgan was drafted number one overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash where she made her professional debut and helped the team win the league championship. At age 22, she was the youngest player on the national team at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. Her record-breaking game-winning goal in the 123rd minute against Canada during the 2012 London Olympics was her 20th goal in 2012 and propelled her to becoming the sixth and youngest U.S. player to do so in a single year. Morgan finished 2012 with 28 goals and 21 assists, joining Mia Hamm as the only American women to score 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year. She was subsequently named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and was a FIFA World Player of the Year finalist.

Off the field, Morgan teamed with Simon & Schuster to write a middle-grade book series about four soccer players entitled The Kicks. The first book in the series, Saving the Team (ISBN 1442485701), debuted at number seven on the The New York Times Best Seller list for Children's Middle Grade in May 2013. She has endorsement deals with Nike, Panasonic, Coca Cola, ChapStick, and Bridgestone.

Early life[edit]

Born to Pamela S. (née Jeske) and Michael T. Morgan in San Dimas, California,[1] Morgan was raised with her two older sisters, Jeni and Jeri in the nearby suburb of Diamond Bar, located approximately 45 minutes east of Los Angeles.[2] She was a multi-sport athlete growing up, but did not begin playing soccer until age 13 when she began playing on an American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) team.[3] A year later, she began playing club soccer at age 14 for Cypress Elite.[4][5] With the club team, she won the Coast Soccer League (CSL) under-16 championship and placed third at the under-19 level.[6]

Morgan attended Diamond Bar High School, where she was a three-time all-league pick and was named All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).[7] At the school, she was known for her speed and sprinting ability.[8] Morgan played for Olympic Development Program (ODP) regional and state teams as well.[6] She later credited the program as an integral part of her development as a soccer player: "... programs like ODP helped me especially because I did come into the club scene late and it was important for me to play as much as possible, play with the best players and learn from the best coaches. That, for me, was crucial to my development."[9]

At age 17, Morgan was called up to the United States under-20 women's national soccer team. While playing in a scrimmage[clarification needed] against the men's junior national team, she endured an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and did not play for the team again until April 2008.[10]

Cal Bears[edit]

Morgan attended the University of California, Berkeley, from 2007 to 2010 on a scholarship.[11] As a freshman playing for the California Bears, she was the leading scorer.[6] She scored the final goal of her freshman season during a match against Stanford in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. The equalizer resulted in a 1–1 draw with less than two minutes left in regulation time.[12] Cal was ultimately defeated during a penalty kicks.[13] Despite continued absences due to U.S. national team commitments (2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and then the senior team) throughout her collegiate career, she led the Golden Bears in scoring and to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years, advancing to the second round twice.[6]

After being named a candidate for the Hermann Trophy during her junior year, Morgan became the first California player to be named one of the top-three Hermann Trophy finalists. She was also one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award, given to the best overall candidate in each sport.[6]

Morgan finished her collegiate career ranked third all-time in goals scored (45) and points (107) for the Golden Bears.[14] She graduated from Berkeley one semester early, with a degree in Political Economy.[15]

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

Western New York Flash, 2011[edit]

On January 14, 2011, Morgan was the first overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash.[16] She was the first California Golden Bears women's soccer player to be drafted in the first round of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).[17] Morgan scored her first goal for the Flash during the team's home opener—a 3–0 win over the Atlanta Beat on May 1, 2011.[18] Throughout the 2011 season, she played in 14 matches and scored 4 goals.[19] The club won the regular season title and the WPS Championship title the same year.[20]

Seattle Sounders Women, 2012[edit]

After the WPS later suspended operations in early 2012 due to legal and financial difficulties,[21] Morgan joined her national teammates Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Cox on the Seattle Sounders Women for the 2012 season.[22][23][24] Of her signing, Morgan said, "I am excited to play in a city that is so passionate about soccer. The Sounders have been one of, if not the best fan support in MLS. I can only imagine how Seattle fans would respond to having a full professional women’s team in the future."[25]

Due to her national team commitments and preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics,[26] Morgan made three regular season appearances for the club. She scored two goals and served two assist in her 253 minutes on the pitch.[27] With the national teammates' presence on the team,[28][29] the Sounders sold out nine of their ten home matches at the 4,500 capacity Starfire Stadium.[30] Average attendance during the 2012 season for the Sounders Women was four times higher than the next closest team.[30]

Portland Thorns FC, 2013–present[edit]

On January 11, 2013, Morgan was one of three U.S. national team players to join the Portland Thorns FC for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League via the NWSL Player Allocation.[31] She scored her first goal for the Thorns during the team's home-opener at Jeld-Wen Field in front of 16,479 spectators helping her team defeat the Seattle Reign FC 2–1.[32][33] She finished the regular season as the team's point leader, and joint scoring leader (with Christine Sinclair), with eight goals and five assists (21 points).[34] She was named to the NWSL's Best XI Second Team. The club finished in a three-way tie atop the league in the regular season standings. On August 31, 2013, the club captured the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League championship title.[35] Morgan was named to the NWSL Best XI Second team on August 28.[36]

International[edit]

Alex Morgan with the United States women's national team in Frisco, Texas in February 2012.

Due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury that slowed her progress in 2007, Morgan was not called up to train with the United States under-20 women's national soccer team until April 2008.[37] Her first appearance for the under-20 team occurred during the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico, where she scored her first international goal against Cuba.[38]

Morgan was named to the United States U-20 women's national team that competed in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, scoring a total of four goals in the tournament against France, Argentina and North Korea. Morgan's fourth goal of the tournament was a match-winner that gave the U.S. a gold medal, which subsequently voted the best goal of the tournament,[39] and later FIFA's second-best goal of the year.[40] Morgan's performance on the field earned her the Bronze Shoe as the tournament's third-highest scorer and the Silver Ball as the tournament's second-best player behind teammate Sydney Leroux.[41]

She has been capped by the senior national team, first appearing as a substitute in a match versus Mexico in March 2010,[42] and scored her first international goal after coming on as a substitute against China, which salvaged a 1–1 draw in October 2010. Her most important goal to date came a month later in a crucial road game against Italy. After entering the match in the 86th minute, she scored in the fourth minute of added time to give the United States a 1–0 victory over Italy in the first leg of a playoff to qualify for the final spot for the Women's World Cup.[43]

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

Morgan was the youngest player on the U.S. national team that placed second in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. On July 13, 2011, she scored her first FIFA Women's World Cup goal in the 82nd minute of the semi-final matchup against France, giving the USA a 3–1 lead and ultimately, the victory. She scored the first goal (69') in the FIFA World Cup Final against Japan after coming on as a substitute at the half, as well as assisting on the Abby Wambach header (104') for a goal in extra time. Her performance made her the first player to ever record a goal and an assist in a World Cup final.[44] Morgan finished eighth in the balloting for the 2011 FIFA World Player of the Year.[45]

2012 London Olympics[edit]

Morgan didn't become a starter for the U.S. until the fifth game of the year in January, the final of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.[46] She scored twice and provided two assists to Wambach that day, in a 4–0 win over the Canadian hosts and has become a regular starter ever since. Morgan scored 14 goals in a 12-game stretch from January to late May 2012, including three straight two-goal efforts. She earned her first career hat-trick on March 7, 2012, during a 4–0 victory against Sweden in the third-place game of the Algarve Cup. In June 2012, she was nominated for an ESPY Award as the Best Breakthrough Athlete.[47]

In the opening game of 2012 London Olympics group play, Morgan scored both the equalizer and the goal that sealed the win against France.[48] In the next three Olympic matches, she assisted on the game-winning goal, including two to Wambach.[49][50][51]

Morgan challenges Japanese defender Saki Kumagai for the ball as Mizuho Sakaguchi (6) and Azusa Iwashimizu (3) look on during their gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Morgan scored the winning goal in the Olympic semifinal match against Canada in extra time, sending the United States to the gold medal match against Japan. Her goal came in the 123rd minute, the latest goal ever scored by a member of the U.S. women's team and a FIFA record.[52] The goal continued her propensity for late heroics in the closing stages of matches. Seventeen of her 28 total goals to date have come after the 60th minute. The game-winning goal was Morgan's team-high 20th in 2012, becoming only the sixth and youngest U.S. player to do so in a single year.[53][54] In the final, a 2–1 win against Japan on August 9, Morgan assisted on a Carli Lloyd header.[55] She ended the tournament with 3 goals, and a team-high four assists (tied with Megan Rapinoe) and ten points (tied with Rapinoe and Wambach).[56] To celebrate her achievements, she was honored at her previous high school, Diamond Bar High School, and #13 was retired.

In 2012, Morgan led the U.S. in goals (28), multi-goal games (9), assists (21) and points (77).[57] Her calendar year goals, assists and points totals are the third-best, tied second-best (one tally shy of record), and second-best, respectively, in U.S. WNT history. Morgan joined an exclusive club as she and Hamm are the only U.S. WNT players to record at least 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year and became only the third and youngest player to reach 20 assists in a calendar year. Morgan and Wambach combined for 55 goals in 2012 – matching a 21 year old record set in 1991 by Michelle Akers (39 goals) and Carin Jennings (16 goals) as the most goals scored by any duo in U.S. WNT history. She had either scored or assisted on 41 percent of the USA's 120 goals this year. And, by herself, she comfortably out-scored and out-assisted her opponents, who combined for 21 goals and 12 assists in 32 games against the U.S.[46]

For her excellence on the field, U.S. Soccer announced Morgan as the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year.[58] Morgan’s exploits have also earned her a place on the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist, ultimately finished third in voting.[59]

2013–present[edit]

At the 2013 Algarve Cup, Morgan shared top-scoring honors. She finished the competition with four assists and three goals, including the equalizer against Sweden that advanced the U.S. to the final and the two goals against Germany that won the championship.[60][61] Morgan previously won the tournament’s golden boot in 2011.[62] On June 2, 2013, Morgan scored two second half goals as the U.S. defeated Canada 3-0 in front of a sold out crowd in Toronto. This was the first match between USA and Canada since the epic semifinal of the 2012 Olympic Games.[63] Morgan was named to her third appearance on the 10-player short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2013 and finished fourth in the voting.[64][65] For the inaugural CONCACAF Awards, she was recognized as the CONCACAF 2013 Female Player of the Year.[66] And as a part of US Soccer's celebration of its Centennial anniversary the Federation revealed the US Soccer's All-Time Women's National Team Best XI, she was youngest player selected at 24 years old.[67]

International goals[edit]

# Date Location Opponent Score Result Competition
01. October 6, 2010 Chester, Pennsylvania, United States  China PR
1–1
1–1
Friendly
02. October 30, 2010 Cancun, Mexico  Guatemala
7–0
9–0
2010 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup
03. November 1, 2010 Cancun, Mexico  Costa Rica
4–0
4–0
2010 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup
04. November 20, 2010 Padova, Italy  Italy
1–0
1–0
2011 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off
05. March 7, 2011 Quarteira, Portugal  Finland
3–0
4–0
2011 Algarve Cup
06.
4–0
07. March 9, 2011 Faro, Portugal  Iceland
4–2
4–2
2011 Algarve Cup
08. July 13, 2011 Moenchengladbach, Germany  France
3–1
3–1
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup
09. July 17, 2011 Frankfurt, Germany  Japan
1–0
2–2 (a.e.t.),
1–3 (pen.)
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup
10. September 22, 2011 Portland, Oregon, United States  Canada
3–0
3–0
Friendly
11. January 22, 2012 Vancouver, Canada  Guatemala
12–0
13–0
2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament
12. January 27, 2012 Vancouver, Canada  Costa Rica
3–0
3–0
2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament
13. January 29, 2012 Vancouver, Canada  Canada
1–0
4–0
2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament
14.
4–0
15. February 11, 2012 Frisco, Texas, United States  New Zealand
1–1
2–1
Friendly
16.
2–1
17. February 29, 2012 Lagos, Portugal  Denmark
2–0
5–0
2012 Algarve Cup
18.
3–0
19. March 7, 2012 Parchal, Portugal  Sweden
1–0
4–0
2012 Algarve Cup
20.
2–0
21.
4–0
22. April 1, 2012 Sendai City, Japan  Japan
1–1
1–1
2012 Women's Kirin Challenge Cup
23. May 27, 2012 Chester, Pennsylvania, United States  China PR
1–1
4–1
Friendly
24.
3–1
25. June 16, 2012 Halmstad, Sweden  Sweden
2–0
3–1
2012 Sweden Invitational
26. June 18, 2012 Gothenburg, Sweden  Japan
1–0
4–1
2012 Sweden Invitational
27.
3–1
28. July 25, 2012 Glasgow, Scotland  France
2–2
4–2
2012 Summer Olympics
29.
4–2
30. August 6, 2012 Manchester, England  Canada
4–3
4–3 (a.e.t.)
2012 Summer Olympics
31. September 1, 2012 Rochester, New York, United States  Costa Rica
4–0
8–0
Friendly
32. September 16, 2012 Carson, California, United States  Australia
1–1
2–1
Friendly
33. September 19, 2012 Commerce City, Colorado, United States  Australia
2–2
6–2
Friendly
34.
6–2
35. November 28, 2012 Portland, Oregon, United States  Republic of Ireland
1–0
5–0
Friendly
36.
2–0
37.
3–0
38. December 1, 2012 Glendale, Arizona, United States  Republic of Ireland
1–0
2–0
Friendly
39. March 11, 2013 Lagos, Portugal  Sweden
1–1
1–1
2013 Algarve Cup
40. March 13, 2013 Faro, Portugal  Germany
1–0
2–0
2013 Algarve Cup
41.
2–0
42. April 5, 2013 Offenbach am Main, Germany  Germany
3–1
3–3
Friendly
43. June 2, 2013 Toronto, Canada  Canada
1–0
3–0
Friendly
44.
2–0
45. June 19, 2014 Hartford, Connecticut, United States  France
1–1
2–2
Friendly
46.
2–2

Other work[edit]

Morgan is a published novelist, and has featured in a number of advertisement campaigns and modeling assignments.

In 2012, Morgan signed with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing to pen The Kicks, a three-book series for middle schoolers.[68] The main characters are four young girls centered on the themes of friendship, leadership, and soccer. In a statement released by Simon & Schuster, Morgan said she wanted her books to "inspire young girls" and "celebrate" her love of soccer. On September 1, 2012, the publisher set the release date for the first novel, Saving The Team, on May 14, 2013, and second novel, Sabotage Season, on September 3, 2013.[69] The first novel, Saving the Team (ISBN 1442485701), debuted at number seven on the The New York Times Best Seller list for Children's Middle Grade.[70]

Endorsements[edit]

Morgan has signed endorsement deals with Nike, Panasonic, and Coca Cola.[71] In July 2011, she signed a one-year endorsement deal with Bank of America.[72] In September of the same year, she co-starred with national teammate Hope Solo in a television commercial promoting ESPN's SportsCenter.[73] In January 2012, Morgan and national teammate Heather Mitts became brand ambassadors for health product company, GNC.[74] The same year, she made appearances on behalf of Ubisoft promoting the launch of their video game, Just Dance 4.[75] In 2013, she appeared in television commercials for Bridgestone.[76] She joined a two-year partnership as the spokesperson for Chapstick in October 2013.[77]

In media[edit]

Morgan has been featured in a number of magazines including the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, where she appeared in a section composed of athletes in body paint. She appeared in the 2013 music issue of ESPN The Magazine replicating Katy Perry's "One of the Boys" album cover.[78][79] In 2013, Morgan appeared in the ESPN documentary series, Nine for IX. The Nine for IX documentary, The 99ers, in which she appeared focused on the success and legacy of the national team squad that won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.[80]

Personal life[edit]

Alex Morgan is engaged to Houston Dynamo's Servando Carrasco.[81] Although her teammates rarely use it nowadays, Morgan was given the nickname "Baby Horse" by her teammates on the U.S. women's national team for her speed, running style and youth.[82][83][84]

Honors and awards[edit]

Club[edit]

Western New York Flash
Portland Thorns FC

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair among first seven players added to Portland Thorns FC through allocation process". Portland Thorns. January 11, 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Borden, Sam (July 22, 2012). "Rising as Fast as Her Feet Will Take Her". New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Phenom Alex Morgan Talks About the Upcoming World Cup & Cal South ODP". Cal South. June 9, 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Huge expectations for Cal's Morgan". Sports Illustrated. January 27, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Cohen, Emily (November 2, 2011). "Becoming Alex Morgan: Rising star reflects on youth game (Part 1)". Soccer America. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Alex Morgan". University of California, Berkeleyaccessdate=March 16, 2014. 
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  31. ^ "Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair among first among seven players added to Portland Thorns FC through allocation process". Portland Timbers. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
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  39. ^ FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Chile 2008 Goal of the Tournament, FIFA.com.
  40. ^ 2008 Goal of the Year declared, FIFA.com, January 20, 2009.
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  42. ^ WINTER GAMES U.S women overcome Mexico in snow, 1–0[dead link], Big Apple Soccer, March 31, 2010.
  43. ^ U.S. women shut out Italy, 1–0, and near World Cup qualification, Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2010.
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  49. ^ "Rapinoe scores, US defeats Colombia". FoxSports.com. July 28, 2012. 
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  51. ^ White, Joseph (August 4, 2012). "U.S. women defeat New Zealand 2–0, advance to semifinal". Associated Press. 
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  56. ^ Official USsoccer.com Match Reports (6 match reports – calculated 4 assists not 5)
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  64. ^ "Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan Named to Shortlist for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year". USSoccer.com. October 25, 2013. 
  65. ^ "FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013 - Women's results". FIFA.com. January 13, 2014. 
  66. ^ "Peralta, Morgan named 2013 CONCACAF Players of the Year". December 13, 2013. 
  67. ^ "Hamm, Fawcett unanimous selections to U.S. women's Best XI squad". December 20, 2013. 
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  69. ^ "official publisher page for Alex Morgan". Simon & Schuster. September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
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  74. ^ "Team USA Soccer Stars Alex Morgan and Heather Mitts Join the GNC LiveWell Team as Brand Ambassadors". PR News Wire. January 28, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  75. ^ "Just Dance® To Host Star-Studded Fashion Show at STYLE 360". Business Wire. August 16, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  76. ^ Wahl, Grant (July 24, 2013). "Alex In Wonderland". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
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  79. ^ Pressman, Stacey (February 5, 2013). "Alex Morgan talks Katy Perry, music playlist". ESPN The Magazine. 
  80. ^ Cingari, Jennifer (August 14, 2013). "ESPN Films’ and espnW’s Nine for IX Series Continues with The 99ers, premiering August 20 on ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  81. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/alex-morgan-engaged-servando-carrasco_n_4417863.html
  82. ^ "What's In A Name?". US Soccer. April 4, 2013. 
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  85. ^ Mexico's Oribe Peralta, USWNT's Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Players of the Year mlssoccer.com. 12-13-2013. Retrieved 12-21-2013.
  86. ^ Mia Hamm, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach named to all-time U.S. soccer team latimes.com. 12-19-2013. Retrieved 12-21-2013.

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