Alex Morgan: Multi Coloured Life of a Soccer Star
Morgan, the soccer star loves cats, she has a pet cat named Brooklyn with six
toes on each of its front feet. She loves to do yoga and has a motorcycle
license. She graduated in December 2010, a semester early, with a degree in
political economy and earlier in 2009 went to study in Madrid Spain. She was
selected as 2012 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and in the same year won
Olympic Gold Medal. She's also known for her famous body paint bikini photo
shoot in 2012 Sports: Illustrated, Swimsuit Issue, in which she wore a colorful,
patriotic, teeny bikini that was literally painted on. She made it to the list
of 12 Sexiest Olympic Women by menshealth.com.
Alexandra Patricia "Alex" Morgan was born on 2nd 1989. She is an American soccer
player and Olympic Gold medalist. She is a forward for National Women's Soccer
League club Portland Thorns FC and the U.S. Women's National Team. Morgan was
drafted number one overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash.
She was the youngest player on the USA's roster at the 2011 FIFA Women's World
Cup. At the 2012 London Olympics, her game-winning goal in the 123rd minute
against Canada was Morgan's team-high 20th in 2012, becoming only the sixth and
youngest U.S. player to do so in a single year. Morgan finished 2012 with 28
goals and 21 assists, joining Mia Hamm as the only American women to score 20
goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year, and was named U.S. Soccer Female
Athlete of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year finalist.
Off the field, Morgan has a deal with Simon & Schuster to write a middle-grade
book series about four soccer-playing girls entitled The Kicks. The first book
in the series, Saving the Team (ISBN 1442485701), debuted at number seven on the
The New York Times Best Seller list for Children's Middle Grade in May 2013. The
next book, Sabotage Season, is expected to be released in September 2013.
Morgan was born in Diamond Bar, California, the daughter of Pamela S. (née Jeske)
and Michael T. Morgan. She was a multisport athlete growing up, but did not
begin playing club-team soccer until she was 14, several years later than most
players who go on to reach the elite levels of the sport. Within three years she
was called into the U-17 and U-20 national team. She attended Diamond Bar High
School, where she was a three-time all-league pick and was named an NSCAA
As a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, Morgan was the leading
scorer. Her last goal of her freshman season came against Stanford in the second
round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, tying the game at 1–1 with less than two
minutes left in regulation time and forcing the Cardinal into overtime and then
to penalty kicks. Despite continued absences due to U.S. national team
commitments (2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and then the senior team)
throughout her collegiate career, she still led the team in scoring and to the
NCAA Tournament in each of her four years, advancing to the second round twice.
After being named a candidate for the Hermann Trophy Watch list in her junior
year, Morgan became the first California player to ever be named one of the
top-three Hermann Trophy finalists. She was also one of four finalists for the
Honda Sports Award, given to the best overall candidate in each sport. Morgan is
third all-time in goals scored (45) and points (107) for the Golden Bears. She
graduated from UC Berkeley one semester early, with a degree in Political
On January 14, 2011, Morgan was drafted number one overall in the 2011 WPS Draft
by the Western New York Flash. She was the first California Golden Bears women's
soccer player to be drafted in the first round of Women's Professional Soccer.
The club went on to win the regular season title and the WPS Championship title
On January 11, 2013, it was announced that Morgan was one of three USWNT players
to join the National Women's Soccer League club Portland Thorns FC by way of
weighted allocation. Morgan finished the regular season as the team’s point
leader, and joint scoring leader (with Christine Sinclair), with eight goals and
five assists (21 points). She was named to the NWSL's Best XI Second Team. On
August 31, 2013, the club captured the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League
Due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury that slowed her progress in 2007,
Morgan was not called up to train with the United States under-20 women's
national soccer team until April 2008. Her first appearance for the U-20s came
at the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico, where she
scored her first international goal against Cuba.
Morgan was named to the United States U-20 women's national team that competed
in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, scoring a total of four goals
in the tournament against France, Argentina and North Korea. Morgan's fourth
goal of the tournament was a match-winner that gave the U.S. a gold medal, which
subsequently voted the best goal of the tournament, and later FIFA's second-best
goal of the year. Morgan's performance on the field earned her the Bronze Shoe
as the tournament's third-highest scorer and the Silver Ball as the tournament's
second-best player behind teammate Sydney Leroux.
She has been capped by the senior national team, first appearing as a substitute
in a match versus Mexico in March 2010, and scored her first international goal
after coming on as a substitute against China, which salvaged a 1–1 draw in
October 2010. Her most important goal to date came a month later in a crucial
road game against Italy. After entering the match in the 86th minute, she scored
in the fourth minute of added time to give the United States a 1–0 victory over
Italy in the first leg of a playoff to qualify for the final spot for the
Women's World Cup.
Morgan was the youngest player on the U.S. national team that placed second in
the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. On July 13, 2011, she scored her first FIFA
Women's World Cup goal in the 82nd minute of the semi-final matchup against
France, giving the USA a 3–1 lead and ultimately, the victory. She scored the
first goal (69') in the FIFA World Cup Final against Japan after coming on as a
substitute at the half, as well as assisting on the Abby Wambach header (104')
for a goal in extra time. Her performance made her the first player to ever
record a goal and an assist in a World Cup final. Morgan finished eighth in the
balloting for the 2011 FIFA World Player of the Year.
Morgan didn't become a starter for the U.S. until the fifth game of the year in
January, the final of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. She scored
twice and provided two assists to Wambach that day, in a 4–0 win over the
Canadian hosts and has become a regular starter ever since. Morgan scored 14
goals in a 12-game stretch from January to late May 2012, including three
straight two-goal efforts. She earned her first career hat-trick on March 7,
2012, during a 4–0 victory against Sweden in the third-place game of the Algarve
Cup. In June 2012, she was nominated for an ESPY Award as the Best Breakthrough
In the opening game of 2012 London Olympics group play, Morgan scored both the
equalizer and the goal that sealed the win against France. In the next three
Olympic matches, she assisted on the game-winning goal, including two to Wambach.
Morgan scored the winning goal in the Olympic semifinal match against Canada in
extra time, sending the United States to the gold medal match against Japan. Her
goal came in the 123rd minute, the latest goal ever scored by a member of the
U.S. women's team and a FIFA record. The goal continued her propensity for late
heroics in the closing stages of matches. Seventeen of her 28 total goals to
date have come after the 60th minute. The game-winning goal was Morgan's
team-high 20th in 2012, becoming only the sixth and youngest U.S. player to do
so in a single year. In the final, a 2–1 win against Japan on August 9, Morgan
assisted on a Carli Lloyd header.
She ended the tournament with 3 goals, and a team-high four assists (tied with
Megan Rapinoe) and ten points (tied with Rapinoe and Wambach). To celebrate her
achievements, she was honored at her previous high school, Diamond Bar High
School, and #13 was retired. In 2012, Morgan led the U.S. in goals (28),
multi-goal games (9), assists (21) and points (77). Her calendar year goals,
assists, and points totals are the third-best, tied second-best (one tally shy
of record), and second-best, respectively, in U.S. WNT history. Morgan joined an
exclusive club as she and Hamm are the only U.S. WNT players to record at least
20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year and became only the third and
youngest player to reach 20 assists in a calendar year. Morgan and Wambach
combined for 55 goals in 2012 – matching a 21 year old record set in 1991 by
Michelle Akers (39 goals) and Carin Jennings (16 goals) as the most goals scored
by any duo in U.S. WNT history. She had either scored or assisted on 41 percent
of the USA's 120 goals this year. And, by herself, she comfortably out-scored
and out-assisted her opponents, who combined for 21 goals and 12 assists in 32
games against the U.S.
For her excellence on the field, U.S. Soccer announced Morgan as the 2012 Female
Athlete of the Year. Morgan’s exploits have also earned her a place on the FIFA
Ballon d’Or shortlist, ultimately finished third in voting. At the 2013 Algarve
Cup, Morgan shared top-scoring honors. She finished the competition with four
assists and three goals, including the equalizer against Sweden that advanced
the U.S. to the final and the two goals against Germany that won the
championship. Morgan previously won the tournament’s golden boot in 2011.
In 2012 Morgan signed with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing to pen The
Kicks, a three-book series for middle schoolers. The main characters are four
young girls centered on the themes of friendship, leadership, and soccer. In a
statement released by Simon & Schuster, Morgan said she wanted her books to
"inspire young girls" and "celebrate" her love of soccer. On September 1, 2012,
the publisher set the release date for the first novel, Saving The Team, on May
14, 2013, and second novel, Sabotage Season, on September 3, 2013. The first
novel, Saving the Team (ISBN 1442485701), debuted at number seven on the The New
York Times Best Seller list for Children's Middle Grade.
Morgan has been featured in a number of advertisement campaigns and modeling
assignments, including features in the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue,
appearing in a section of athletes in body paint and in the 2013 ESPN The
Magazine music issue recreating Katy Perry's "One of the Boys" album cover.
Although her teammates rarely use it nowadays, Morgan was given the nickname
"Baby Horse" by her teammates on the U.S. women's national team for her speed,
running style and youth. She has expressed her support for FC Barcelona.
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Silver Ball : 2008
NCAA All-American First-Team : 2010
Pac-10 Conference First-Team : 2008, 2009, 2010
ESPY Award Best Breakthrough Athlete Nominee and Best Moment Nominee: 2012, 2013
Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year, Team Sport: 2012
U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year: 2012
Olympic Gold Medal : 2012
National Women's Soccer League Second Best XI : 2013
Morgan told during an interview " I definitely try to have a healthy
diet,whether that's eating blueberries at breakfast or putting an avocado in my
salad. You know, simple super foods like that that are healthy in my diet,"
She also promotes the importance of muscle recovery in optimal health and
performance "we do wear heart-rate monitors and GPS trackers every practice and
every game. That helps monitor how much we're in our top heart rate zone ... and
helps us see how much recovery we should have."
Morgan said “When I think of my teammates training hard on their own—whether
it’s going out and shooting or finding people to play with—it’s my job to do
more than them, I’m always hoping that I’m doing more. It’s motivation.”
Morgan’s success doesn’t all rest in competitive genes—much of it boils down to
a fitness regime that requires 100 percent discipline. Morgan logs about six
miles per game, and up to 10 on the treadmill on non-game days. “I’m putting
somewhere between 30 and 60 miles on my legs every week.”
Morgan swears by the basics: Strengthen your legs with squats, shape your core
with planks—4-minute long planks, might we add—and pound out pushups. Not a fan
of pushups? Neither is Morgan. “I actually hate them,” she laughs. “But I do
them all the time because it’s a great workout.” The ways she sees it is: Giving
up on something hard is never going to make you stronger.
Alex Morgan wrote in a blog:
I've worked out all my life, with grueling hours indoors — a prerequisite for an
Olympic hopeful. But when the weather outside is wonderful, who wants to spend
any time in a stuffy gym? Instead, gather the family and invite your friends to
join you outdoors for a calorie-blasting good time. These activities make it
easy to enjoy the season — and still lose weight, stay motivated, and build
muscles — so you can look your best in the height of bathing suit season and
still enjoy your favorite summertime treats and picnics.
Put your mind into a "competitive" mode and show off your speed, strength, and
tenacity by working out in the sunshine each day. Here are some great tips to
keep you in shape outdoors much in the same way you work out at a gym:
Swim to Keep Trim: Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the
cardiovascular system. Do 20-30 minutes of laps in a pool, lake, or ocean.
Swimming strengthens your chest, back, arms, abs, legs, and shoulders. Talk
about a total-body workout!
Life's a Beach: Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand
gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn't have on a treadmill or on
asphalt. You can do it barefooted and you'll feel a great workout in your feet,
shins, and calves, and beach walking is great for ankle stability.
Beach Buddy: You can create a great strength workout with just you and a beach
towel. Alternate walking, jogging, and sprinting to work the lower body and get
the heart rate elevated. The beach can be so tranquil and yet so energizing.
Start out by walking, and all of a sudden you get the energy from the earth and
you start to jog a little. To maximize the experience, do walking lunges or
stationary lunges the length of your beach towel. Work the upper body with
pushups and reverse planks and the abdominals with crunches on the towel.
Peace of Mind: The peaceful mood of the ocean's edge is a great time to stretch
as well. Finish with some stretching, deep breathing, and meditation. Take time
to close your eyes and feel the ocean mist and smell the salty air.
Pedal off the pounds: Power up each hill on a bike to help tighten and tone your
legs, hips, and butt. Finally, make it social! Bring your friends along for a
weekly workout challenge.
She says “Our next goal is to win the World Cup in 2015,” she says. “That’s
already on our radar.” After losing to Japan in the 2011 World Cup and settling
for silver, Morgan says next time, “we want to come out with gold.”
Alex Morgan writes on her official website:
It’s hard to believe that Alex Morgan, the American women’s soccer sensation,
suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament just five years ago. A torn ACL is
often a career-hindering—if not ending—injury for many athletes. Yet Ms. Morgan,
23 years old, came back from the injury to have a successful soccer career that
recently culminated with her scoring the goal against Canada that sent the U.S.
to the gold-medal game at the London Olympics.
Ms. Morgan underwent surgery to repair her ACL her senior year of high school.
After just five months of intense physical therapy, she was back on the field
playing for the University of California at Berkeley. “An injury like that
really tests you mentally,” she says. “Soccer was my life and suddenly I didn’t
know if I’d play again.” Known for her superhuman speed on the field, Ms.
Morgan, who plays forward, recalls the frustration of having to learn to run all
over again. “I could barely jog on the treadmill,” she says.
Ms. Morgan says the majority of her physical-therapy exercises worked to improve
her balance, agility and speed. “We really focused on making sure my hip and
knee and foot were aligned and that my knee never went over my foot. Youth
soccer players aren’t taught how important alignment is when we’re out on the
field running around.”
She now incorporates many of the exercises into her pre-workout warm-up routine.
“I think a proper warm-up and recovery are key to making sure you’re healthy on
the field,” she says.
Leading up to the Olympics, Ms. Morgan and her teammates had vigorous three-week
training camps followed by a week of rest. During camp, the women spent one to
four hours a day on the field scrimmaging and working on power and speed drills.
Two to three days a week they’d work out with their strength coach in the gym.
“That’s been my schedule for 1½ years,” she says. “We really train every day to
the point of exhaustion.”
Along with her teammates, Ms. Morgan focuses on power development in the weight
room, where she does a lot of power lifts, such as snatches and dead lifts,
combined with box jumps, which entail jumping explosively on and off a box with
both feet for some sets and one foot for others. “All of the power exercises we
do are very specific to the sport,” she says. “All of the movements relate to
and correlate with what we do on the field. That’s why they all require a lot of
short busts of speed or power.”
In between sets Ms. Morgan might go into an empty room and do a few sets of
high-knee runs or forward jumps. On the field, the team’s fitness coach warms
them up with agility and balance drills as well as speedwork. The team might
walk the length of the field doing high knees or lunges and then transition to
sets of suicide sprints, which consist of sprinting from one line on the field
to another and on each sequential run the lines get further apart. After a
30-minute warm-up, the women break into groups to do ball work, which might
include sprinting with the ball or dribbling the ball around cones. The offense
and defense will then break up and work on different skills. Ms. Morgan is often
practicing shooting drills. The workout finishes with a scrimmage and a cool
Oatmeal, eggs, and whole wheat toast are a typical breakfast when Ms. Morgan is
training. Lunch and dinner are usually some type of pasta with a light sauce and
grilled chicken or fish. Dinner might include a salad or side of vegetables. “At
dinner, after working so hard all day, I’m definitely not afraid to have a
cookie,” she says.
During workouts Ms. Morgan keeps her energy up with energy gels and bars. “I’m
not big on energy drinks because those can make you crash later. During games I
like to eat candy like gummy bears because it gives you sustainable energy.”
Most athletes let themselves splurge more once the season ends, but Ms. Morgan
says she has to pay more attention to her diet. “Since I’m not training as
vigorously, I don’t need as many calories so I need to watch how much I’m
eating. I definitely cut back on the pasta.”
Gear & Cost
Nike is a sponsor of the U.S. women’s national soccer team so Ms. Morgan wears
Nike gear. “I love the Nike Free running shoes because they’re very light and I
can throw them on to go for a run but also they’re casual enough to wear when I
go out with friends.”
Ms. Morgan wears compression pants, particularly when she flies, to help with
circulation. During every training session and every game she and her teammates
wear heart-rate monitors and GPS watches. “We actually wore them for a year
leading up to the Olympics to ensure that our heart rate was in the proper zone
and to track our acceleration and deceleration. Our coach has all of that data
Least Favorite Exercise
“Lunges are so important to the sport because they work everything—the quads,
hamstrings, core. But you have to do them properly making sure your knee doesn't
extend past your foot so you get the total benefit and so you don’t get hurt. I
think I dislike them because I have to do them every day.”
Ms. Morgan likes to listen to upbeat songs by artists like Katy Perry and
Rihanna when she’s in the gym. She puts on more mellow music, like the Kings of
Leon, when she’s on the bus heading to a game.
Very active at a young age, Alex participated in several sports until she was 14
years old. Traveling from soccer practice to basketball practice to softball,
volleyball, and track, Alex was a multi-sport athlete well into her teenage
years. She did not begin playing club soccer until she was 14 years old; several
years later than most players who go on to reach the elite levels of the sport.
Although she didn't have the level of experience her teammates embodied when she
started, her talent exhibited that she could be an impact player immediately.
It wasn't long before Alex earned a call-up to the U-17 Women's National tTeam,
and soon after went on to play at the University of California at Berkeley from
She closed her career as a Golden Bear the same manner in which she began it --
as the Cal Women's Soccer Team's season leading scorer. Alex concluded her four
years at Berkeley tied for the third all-time scorer in California history with
45 goals, and in sole possession of third place based on points --107. As a
sophomore at Cal, she was named to the United States U-20 Women's National Team
that competed in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, scoring a total
of four goals in the tournament against France, Argentina and North Korea. Her
last game winning goal scored against North Korea was subsequently voted the
"Best Goal of the Tournament", and later FIFA's "Second-Best Goal of the Year."
Alex's performance on the field earned her the Bronze Shoe as the tournament's
third-highest scorer, and the Silver Ball as the tournament's second-best
player.Equally talented on the pitch as she is in the classroom, she was named
to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District team. She graduated in December
2010, a full semester early thanks to her dedication in the offseason and
summer, with a degree in political economy. She has been lauded for her studies
as a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention.
In 2009, Alex became the youngest member of the Senior U.S. Women's National
team. First appearing as a substitute in a match versus Mexico in March 2010,
and scored her first international goal after coming on as a substitute against
China in October 2010.
Her most important goal to date came a month later in a crucial road game
against Italy with a Women's World Cup berth on the line for the United States.
Despite missing a number of college matches to play for the U-20 and Senior
National Team, she became the Bears' third all-time leading scorer. If Alex had
not been helping the Senior U.S. Women's National Team quality for the 2011
World Cup, she would have undoubtedly secured first place in both Cal's all-time
scoring and overall points.
On January 14, 2011, Alex was drafted the #1 overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft
by the Western New York Flash. She was the first California Golden Bears Women's
Soccer Player to be drafted in the first round of Women's Professional Soccer.
In the summer of 2011 Alex was the youngest player named to the United States
World Cup roster. On July 13, 2011, she captivated the hearts of viewers
worldwide when scored her first FIFA Women's World Cup goal in the 82nd minute
of the semi-final matchup against France giving the USA a 3-1 lead and
ultimately, the victory. Alex also went on to score the first goal (69') in the
FIFA World Cup Final against Japan after coming in as a substitute at the half
as well as assisting the Abby Wambach header (104') for a goal in extra time.
The United States went on to lose to Japan and take the silver medal but the
team was applauded for their grace in defeat and ability to capture the
attention of the world with their play.
All eyes were on the U.S.
Team this summer at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Alex scored the winning goal
in the semifinal match against Canada in extra time, sending the United States
to the gold medal match against Japan. Her goal came in the 123rd minute, the
latest goal ever scored by a member of the U.S. women's team or in an Olympic
match. In the final, a 2-1 win against Japan on August 9, Alex assisted on a
Carli Lloyd header. She ended the tournament with 3 goals and a team-high 4
assists (tied with Megan Rapinoe). To celebrate her achievements, she was
honored at Diamond Bar High School, and #13 will now be given to the senior
captain of the school's soccer team each year.
Alex Morgan plays at forward position, is 5’7” in height, studies in University
of California and resides at Diamond Bar, Calif USA.
Dated 11 October 2013