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Alex Morgan became the youngest member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team in 2009, and was the first overall pick in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Morgan won her first Olympic gold medal by helping the U.S. women defeat Japan. Three years later, she was a leader on the team that again defeated Japan to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Alex Morgan Biography
Alex Morgan was a multisport athlete growing up, but she didn’t start playing organized soccer until she was 14 years old. She attended Diamond Bar High School, where she was a three-time all-league pick and was named an NSCAA All-American. After high school, Morgan went to the University of California at Berkeley, where she led the Golden Bears to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years (and to the second round twice). In 2008, she helped the United States get to the championship of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, scoring the winning goal in the final against North Korea—named the Goal of the Tournament and second-best Goal of the Year by FIFA.
At the end of her Berkeley career, in the fall of 2010, she was tied for third on the school’s list of all-time scorers, with 45 goals, and she was third in points, with 107. (She missed numerous Berkeley games in her senior year to play games for the national team, or she likely would have finished at No. 1 on both lists.) She was named to the All-Pac-10 team four times and was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention selection.
In 2011, Alex Morgan was drafted first overall in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft by the Western New York Flash. That same year, she was on the U.S. women’s national team in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The youngest player on the team, she scored her first World Cup goal in the semifinal match against France, and the team went on to the finals (only to lose to Japan in a shootout).
Once the WPS league suspended play at the end of the 2011 season, Morgan joined the Seattle Sounders Women of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, along with other U.S. national team members like Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux, Stephanie Cox and Megan Rapinoe. She later joined the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
In 2012, Morgan landed a spot on the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London, Morgan won her first Olympic medal, a gold, with the American team. The team beat Japan, 2-1, in a revengeful match watched by nearly 80,300—the largest soccer crowd in Olympics history. The victory marked the fourth of five Olympic titles won by the American women’s squad since women’s soccer was first included in the Olympics (1996).
Hampered by a knee injury during the spring of 2015, Morgan was not at full strength by the start of the FIFA World Cup in June. However, the star forward returned to the starting lineup by the close of group play, and went on to help the U.S. women claim their first World Cup title since 1999.
She is the speedy forward for the U.S. women’s national soccer team who scored two goals in the team’s opening game of the 2012 Olympics. Morgan is “one of the USA’s fastest players and hardest runners,” according to her official bio from U.S. Soccer, and “has shown an ability to come off the bench and make an immediate impact.” Alex Morgan played college soccer at the University of California at Berkeley from 2007-10 (graduating a semester early in 2010 with a degree in political economy) and meanwhile was working her way up through the U.S national age-group teams. She was named to the senior U.S. National Team in 2009, while she was still in college, and made her first appearance in March of 2010, in a match against Mexico. She really came into her own in the 2011 World Cup, where she scored in the team’s semifinal win against France and again in a loss to Japan in the finals. She was drafted by the Women’s Professional Soccer team the Western New York Flash in 2011, and later played for the Seattle Sounders Women. Her 2012 appearance in a painted-on bikini in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue made her a favorite with male soccer fans. Alex Morgan was a starter for the U.S. National team in the 2012 Olympics.
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