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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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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