University of California forward Alex Morgan's U.S. national team career is only seven games old, but she has scored arguably the two biggest goals since the Americans won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Last Saturday, Morgan scored in stoppage time to give the USA a 1-0 win over Italy in first leg of their playoff for a spot in next year's Women's World Cup. (The second leg is Saturday in Bridgeview, Ill.) A month earlier, she scored her first goal for the USA -- an 83rd-minute strike in a friendly against China to preserve a six-year unbeaten streak on home soil. (Morgan also scored the gamewinner two years ago when the USA beat defending champion North Korea to win the Under-20 World Cup.)
“She just is an aggressive kind of player,” veteran striker Abby Wambach. “She moves her body into positions that give her chances to score goals. She’s really created a lot of those opportunities that she’s gotten and the goals that she’s scored.”
“With a lot of help from my teammates, it’s been a good transition,” said Morgan, the only college player Coach Pia Sundhage picked for the World Cup qualifying roster. “But it definitely wasn’t easy."