2 Powerful Lessons From Soccer Star Alex Morgan on Handling Controversy And More

Alex Morgan

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 16, 2024 at 11:27AM UTC

July 2, 2019, was Alex Morgan’s 30th birthday. The star forward for and co-captain of the United States Women’s National Team celebrated the milestone by scoring her team’s second goal against England, clinching the match win for the U.S. The team went on to secure its second consecutive World Cup victory — and fourth win to date — due in no small part to Morgan’s efforts: In sum, she scored six goals during the tournament, including five against Thailand and the aforementioned one against England.

Who is this soccer star, how did she make a name for herself on and off the field, and where can you follow her career? Keep reading to find out. 

Who she is 

Morgan currently plays forward for Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League. 

While a college student at the University of California at Berkeley, she scored her first international goal at the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in Mexico against Cuba.

World Cup debut

Morgan made her World Cup debut in 2011 as the youngest member of the team at the age of 22. She was also the number one overall pick in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer draft, ultimately playing for the Western New York Flash. The team went on to win the league championship the same year. 

2012 London Olympics

In 2012, Morgan earned a spot on the Team USA, playing in the 2012 London Olympics. Notably, she scored a goal in the semi-final match against Canada in the 123rd minute, winning the game for the U.S., helping earn the team the gold medal. 

The same year, she was named the U.S. Female Athlete of the Year, after becoming the second American woman ever to score 20 goals and receive 20 assists in a single year (with 28 goals and 21 assists). Mia Hamm was the first American woman to achieve this honor. 

Club career

Morgan joined the Portland Thorns FC in 2013, and the team subsequently won the league title the same year. She was traded to Orlando Pride in 2015, the year she also helped lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to victory in the World Cup. Also in 2015, Time magazine ranked her as the top-paid American women’s soccer player 

Morgan won the continental European treble while on loan to Lyon, the French team, in 2017. 


Early life 

Born Alexandra Patricia Morgan Carrasco, Morgan is the third daughter of Michael and Pamela Morgan. She played several sports growing up in Diamond Bar, California, but didn’t begin playing club soccer with Cypress Elite until she was 14. In high school, she was an all-league pick three times and was named an NSCAA All-American.

College career

She went on to play for the University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears, who earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament during all four years of Morgan’s participation. Upon graduating from Berkeley one semester early in 2010, she had scored 45 goals for the team, earning her the designation of the third-highest scorer in the university’s history. During her junior year, she also became the first Golden Bear to become a top-three finalist for the Hermann Trophy.

Personal life and work off the field

Morgan boasts creative accomplishments in addition to her athletic achievements. She is the author of the bestselling, soccer-themed children’s series The Kicks, which centers around the friendship of four middle-school teammates. The 11th book, Homecoming, will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2020. 

She also appeared in the 2018 film, Alex & Me, about a young girl who worships Morgan and dreams of playing soccer. Morgan plays a fictionalized version of herself as an image on a poster that comes to life. 

Morgan and U.S. Women’s National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe were the first American female players to pledge to donate 1 percent of their earnings through the Common Goal campaign, which supports charities related to soccer. She is married to Servando Carrasco, whom she met at Berkeley. Carrasco is also a professional soccer player, currently a midfielder for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer. 


2019 FIFA World Cup

Morgan drew criticism for purportedly making a disrespectful gesture toward England during the 2019 World Cup. After scoring the winning goal against England, Morgan mimed drinking tea, in what some deemed a mockery of the English tradition.

“I think it’s a little bit distasteful,” said Lianne Sanderson, who played for England in the 2015 World Cup.

“There is some sort of double standard for females in sports to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate but not too much and have to do something, but it always needs to be a limited fashion,” Morgan said of the controversy. “You see men celebrate all over the world in big tournaments, you know, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is.”

2017 Disney World incident

In 2017, Morgan and five others, including players for Orlando City, were removed from a bar at Epcot in Disney World for trespass. The group was said to be “impaired and verbally aggressive.”

“I observed a white female, who was later identified as Alexandria Morgan yelling, screaming and taken (sic) video and possibly pictures," a deputy wrote in the report about the incident. "She appeared to be highly impaired.”

“I want to apologize for my actions that occurred over the weekend. I will learn from this make sure it does not happen again,” Morgan posted in response to the incident on Twitter.

Where to find her

Looking for more information about or updates on Alex Morgan? Here’s where to find her:

Official pages

U.S. Women’s National Team

Team USA (Olympic team)

Orlando City Soccer Club

Social media

Twitter: @alexmorgan13

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexMorganSoccer/

Instagram: @alexmorgan13

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