From youngest player on U.S. World Cup roster to confident go-to player

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Alex Morgan poses with the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Nicknamed the Baby Horse for her speed, running style, and youth, 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year finalist, Alex Morgan did not start club football until she was 14-years-old, a fairly late start.

But Alex Morgan has evolved over the years from a football late bloomer to a reliable player and leader in the US soccer women team, a process that required sacrifice and hard work.

In 2011, she was the youngest player on the US national team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup where the team won silver.

At the 2012 London Olympics she scored the match-winning goal in the 123rd minute of the semi-final match against Canada.

She finished that year with 28 goals and 21 assists, joining Mia Hamm as the only American woman to score 20 goals and collect 20 assists in the same calendar year, and making her the sixth and youngest U.S. player to score 20 goals in a single year.

She was subsequently named 2012 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.

In 2013, the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League, Morgan joined Portland Thorns FC and helped the team win the league title that year.

In 2017, Morgan went on loan from Orlando pride to French team Lyon, because she was hungry to go to the environment that would challenge her the most, though it meant time away from her husband, who plays in the MLS, Servando Carrasco.

But the move paid off as she won the continental European treble, which included the UEFA Women’s Champions League with Lyon.

She also helped the United States retain their title at the 2015 though her performance was hampered by a knee injury and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups, where she was named into the Dream Team for both tournaments, while she won the Silver Boot in 2019.

US women coach Jill Ellis says “what makes Alex special is that push to continue to be better. She’s not satisfied”

The Concacaf’s Female Player of the Year drive to be a difference-maker continues off the field as well, The US women soccer co-captain has been a key player in her team’s fight for equal pay.

In 2017 she signed up for the Common Goal campaign, created by Juan Mata of Manchester United, wherein players donate 1% of their wages to support soccer-related charities.

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