As part of the USA’s Under-20 Women’s World Cup squad, Morgan introduced herself to the world, scoring four goals in the tournament and receiving the Bronze Boot and Silver Ball – as the second-best player of the tournament – in the process (teammate Sydney Leroux edged Morgan out for both awards). The last of Morgan’s goals was a stunning game-winner in the gold-medal match against North Korea. The goal would later be named FIFA’s second-best goal of 2008!
Action Images / ReutersVICTOR RUIZ CABALLERO
Breaking through (2010)
In September 2010, the U.S. women faced Italy in a crucial two-legged playoff for a spot in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. The first leg, in Italy, was approaching the final whistle as both teams remained deadlocked with no score. Then, Alex Morgan showed up. Coming on as a substitute in the 86th minute, Morgan scored in the fourth minute of injury time to hand the United States a crucial 1–0 advantage in the tie. The U.S. would win the return leg by the same score to head to the World Cup.
She's "the one" (2011)
The Western New York Flash made Alex Morgan the No. 1 pick of the 2011 WPS draft after leading her University of California-Berkeley team in goals each of her four years at school. Morgan ranks third all-time in goals scored (45) and points (107) for the Golden Bears. Though the WPS folded just a year later, Morgan gave the Flash all they could’ve hoped for, contributing four goals in 13 games to help the Flash win the last-ever WPS championship.
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World Cup heroics (2011)
Morgan was not yet seasoned enough to warrant a starting spot on the US Women’s World Cup squad in 2011, but her impact was palpable. In the World Cup final against Japan, Morgan scored the opening goal after coming on as a halftime substitute, and later assisted on Abby Wambach’s header in extra time that gave the U.S. the lead once more. Unfortunately for her and the team, Japan would later prevail in a shootout, but Morgan’s epic performance made her the first player to ever record a goal and an assist in a World Cup final. It was Morgan’s official coming-out party on the international scene.
Getty ImagesMartin Rose
Model material (2012)
Alex Morgan graced Sport Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition in 2012, but with a twist. The USA star appeared in the issue wearing nothing but a body-painted swimsuit. Morgan would go on to feature in the 2014 issue, as well.
World recognition (2012)
In 2012, Morgan scored a team-high 28 goals and added a whopping 21 assists (also a team-high), joining Mia Hamm as the only American woman to have scored 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year. Morgan also led the U.S. in multi-goal games, with nine. For her efforts, Morgan took home the USSF's Female Athlete of the Year award. She also placed third in the FIFA Ballon d’Or voting, behind winner Abby Wambach and Marta. Look for Morgan to eventually take over the top spot.
Getty ImagesHarold Cunningham
Olympic champions (2012)
Just a year after breaking into the US Women’s World Cup squad as a 22-year-old, Morgan stepped into a leading role in 2012. After going on an epic goal-scoring tear in the build-up to the Olympics – scoring 14 goals in a 12-game stretch - Morgan followed it up with a tremendous Olympics, scoring three goals and adding four assists, three of which were on game-winners. In the semifinal against Canada, Morgan scored a late winner in the 123rd minute, sending the U.S to a final rematch with Japan. There, Morgan assisted on one of the Americans’ goals as the U.S. won the Olympics for the fourth time.
Action ImagesJason Cairnduff
Professional home (2013)
After the WPS folded in 2012, Alex Morgan joined the Seattle Sounders Women for a short stint before planting roots with the National Women's Soccer League Portland Thorns in 2013. She finished the year with eight goals and five assists and won the championship in the league's inaugural season.
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Scoring in droves at Algarve Cup (2013)
Morgan shared the honor for top-scorer with Sweden's Kosovare Asllani at the 2013 Algarve Cup. Having previously won the competition's Golden Boot in 2011, Morgan's penchant for scoring the tournament proved invaluable. The US Women won the tournament behind her four assists and three goals in 2013.
Power of the pen (2013)
Morgan's success carried over off the field, as well. In 2013, she linked up with book publishers Simon & Schuster to write a book series about four soccer players titled "The Kicks." The first book in the series reached No. 7 on the "New York Times" Best Seller list in the category of Children's Middle Grade.
Getty ImagesDave Kotinsky
Wedding belle (2014)
At the end of 2014, Alex Morgan married Major League Soccer midfielder Servando Cerrasco. Their reception took place at Rancho Dos Pueblos in Santa Barbara, California. Morgan's reception dress (pictured) was custom designed with her input.
World champion (2015)
Recovering from a knee injury in the lead up to the World Cup, Alex Morgan was eased into the starting XI in Canada. She appeared in all seven USWNT matches at the World Cup, and tallied against Colombia in the round of 16. The U.S. would go on to win the World Cup, their first since 1999.
Michael Chow-USA TODAY SportsMichael Chow
New home (2015)
In October, Alex Morgan made the long-rumored move to NWSL expansion outfit Orlando Pride. Portland Thorns traded Morgan, along with Canadian international Kaylyn Kyle, to Orlando for the rights to Pride's first Expansion Draft selection, the first-round selection (No. 1 overall) in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, and one international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.