She Got Game: Alex Morgan’s 7 Best Soccer Highlights

  • 2008 Goal vs. North Korea in U20 World Cup

    After tearing her ACL in 2007, Morgan made her debut for the U20 National Team at the CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship, and carried the momentum from that performance into the U20 World Cup a few months later. The U.S. women reached the Final on the strength of Morgan’s outstanding performance, winning the championship 1-0 thanks to this cracking, long-distance strike. The goal was Morgan’s fourth of the World Cup, and helped earn her the Bronze Boot (third-leading scorer) and Silver Ball (second-best player) for the entire tournament.

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  • Injury Time Goal vs. Italy in World Cup Playoff

    It seems a distant memory now, but the U.S. Women very nearly missed qualifying for the 2011 World Cup. They had to play a two-leg playoff just to secure a spot in the tournament, and they were having a lot of difficulty during the first leg on the road in Italy. The Italian defense had kept the score at 0-0 all night long, but Morgan came on as a sub in the 86th minute and immediately changed the game. In the fourth minute of injury time, she broke through on the Italian net and confidently finished, vaulting her team to a 1-0 win and eventually to a spot in the 2011 World Cup.

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  • Finishing Off France in 2011 World Cup Semifinals

    She may not have been playing poorly, per se, but Morgan was undoubtedly not her usual dangerous self for stretches of the 2011 Women’s World Cup. However, with the USA clinging to a 2-1 lead with just over eight minutes to go, she rose to the occasion and delivered the knockout blow that sent the Americans to the Finals. Despite a suspect first touch that took her wide of the goal, Morgan ignored the pressuring defenders and coolly finished over the France goalkeeper anyway, scoring her first goal of the entire tournament.

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  • Opening Goal in 2011 World Cup Final

    After opening her World Cup account in the previous game, Morgan continued her hot streak in the Final. She came on as a substitute at halftime of a 0-0 game, and in the 69th minute was able to finish off a brilliant long ball from Megan Rapinoe to put the USA out in front. It looked for a while like Morgan’s goal would be the only one of the match, but Japan was able to equalize in the 81st minute and send the match into extra time.

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  • Assist on Abby Wambach’s Extra Time Header in 2011 World Cup Final

    While Morgan is best known for her ability to put the ball in the back of the net, she also is excellent as a complementary player. Her striker partner Abby Wambach can attest to that, and in extra time of the World Cup Final the duo teamed up to give the USA what appeared to be a game-winning goal. The inventive Morgan was able to beat her defender down the line and send in a perfect cross to Wambach, whose finish allowed Morgan to become the first woman ever to score a goal and record an assist in a World Cup Final.

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  • Game-Winner Against Canada in 2012 Olympic Semifinals

    Morgan had established herself as a legitimate star by the time the 2012 Olympics rolled around, and with those increased expectations came a lot of pressure as the USA advanced in the tournament. Her penchant for late-game heroics was solidified by this miraculous 123rd minute header in the semifinals against Canada, which gave the Americans a wild 4-3 win and a berth in the Final. She ended up finishing the USA’s gold medal-winning effort with three goals and four assists in only six matches, a staggering total indicative of her immense talent.

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  • USSF Female Athlete of the Year, Third Place in Ballon d’Or Voting in 2012

    Including her heroics in the Olympics, Morgan put up some staggering stats during 2012. In the calendar year alone, she scored 28 goals and also added 21 assists—both of which were team highs—in just 32 total national team matches played. She became the first American since Mia Hamm to have a 20-goal/20-assist season, and also led the team with nine multi-goal games. Her outstanding year led to Morgan being named a finalist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, the award given to the World Player of the Year. She ended up finishing third behind Brazil’s Marta and the winner, USA teammate Abby Wambach.

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  • Alex Morgan
  • Alex Morgan
  • Alex Morgan
  • Alex Morgan

It may feel like she’s been on the USA women’s soccer scene forever, but Alex Morgan is turning just 25 years old today. She has already accomplished quite a bit during her national team career, scoring 46 goals and counting (currently good for 10th on the all-time list), and helping her team reach the World Cup Final in 2011 and winning an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

She’ll next lead her team onto the field in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship this fall, which also will serve as North America’s qualifying tournament for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Given Morgan’s importance to the team, we can surely expect to hear from her throughout the tournament, which will be played on home soil in sites throughout the United States. Before then, though, let’s take a look at seven of Alex Morgan’s best soccer highlights.

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