Who Is Alex Morgan?
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 earned her first Olympic gold medal by helping the U.S. women defeat Japan. She overcame an injury to help the Americans win the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and four years later she tied for the tournament high with six goals to help the U.S. claim its second straight World Cup crown.
Alexandra Patricia Morgan was born on July 2, 1989, in San Dimas, California. Although she was a multisport athlete growing up, Morgan 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.
College Star at UC Berkeley
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, Morgan 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.) Morgan was named to the All-Pac-10 team four times and was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention selection.
Professional and International Stardom
In 2011, 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 and then the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League.
2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
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).
2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics
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.
Three years later, Morgan and her teammates were favored to win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. In the quarterfinals vs. Sweden, she scored a crucial game-tying goal in the 78th minute. However, the Americans wound up losing the match on penalty kicks, marking their earliest exit from Olympic competition in the team's history.
2019 World Cup
As co-captain of a team set on defending its crown, Morgan set the tone with a record-tying five goals as the Americans trounced Thailand, 13-0, in their 2019 World Cup opening match. Morgan added a crucial goal in the semifinals vs. England — a moment marked by her "tea-sipping" celebration — and helped keep the pressure on the Netherlands in the final as the U.S. pulled away for a 2-0 win and their fourth overall World Cup title.
Wage Discrimination Lawsuit
In March 2016, Morgan joined several of her teammates to file a complaint of wage discrimination against U.S. Soccer, citing inequities between its compensation for players on the women's and men's national teams. The matter escalated in March 2019, when Morgan was among the 28 women's national team members to file a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer.
In May 2020, a federal judge in California ruled against the players on most of the key points of the lawsuit, including their contention of discrimination under the Equal Pay Act. The players filed an appeal shortly afterward.
'The Kicks' Books and Amazon Series
In 2012, Morgan signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to write a series of soccer-themed books for young audiences. The first, The Kicks: Saving the Team (2013), became a New York Times bestseller, and The Kicks was adapted for a 10-episode run on Amazon in 2015.
That year Morgan also published a memoir, Breakaway: Beyond the Goal.
Morgan has been married to fellow pro soccer player Servando Carrasco since December 31, 2014. The two first met at UC Berkeley.
After announcing she was pregnant in October 2019, Morgan gave birth to a daughter, Charlie Elena, on May 7, 2020.
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