- Came second in the voting for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019
- A two-time world champion and winner of adidas Silver Boot at France 2019
- “We took a risk and it paid off”
It has certainly been an intense year for Alex Morgan, both in terms of emotions and sporting drama. Preparing the defence of your world title can be physically and mentally demanding, and even more so when you have the responsibility that comes with being co-captain.
After the highs of being crowned world champions in Lyon in July, the USA players had to return directly to their clubs to resume their league duties. Morgan, however, had the frustration of not being able to help her side, Orlando Pride, after a stress injury to her right knee put her out of action for several months.
“It’s been a year of highs and lows,” the striker told FIFA during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019. “I went from the high of lifting the World Cup to my lowest, which was not being able to go back to my club team and compete for the rest of the season. It was unfortunate but I’ve dealt with injuries before and I feel like I’m in a very good place. I’m really happy with my physical therapy and feel I’ll be back on the field very soon.”
Morgan made the final-three shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019, where she eventually finished second to team-mate Megan Rapinoe. She was also included in the inaugural FIFA FIFPro Women’s World 11 thanks in no small part to her stellar performances during the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019?, where she not only picked up a winner’s medal but also the adidas Silver Boot as the second-highest scorer.
The long road from Canada 2015 to France 2019
The 30-year-old forward had already played a key part in the USA’s world title triumph at Canada 2015, but if anything she played an even more pivotal part in France.
“I definitely had a bigger role on this occasion in being one of the captains. I think that me, Carli (Lloyd) and Megan worked truly well together as a team - captaining the group to success. I was really happy with the way everything went because I was able to grow into my role over the last three years. I was ready to take that on in this World Cup.”
The success enjoyed by the USA team in this edition transcended sport and had a major societal impact as well. “It was just bigger. Everything was on a bigger scale in 2019,” said Morgan.
“In 2015 the win was one that this team needed after not achieving for so many years – after holding that number 1 spot in the FIFA Ranking and being seen as the top team in the world, 2015 was a win for the veterans and for the project of women’s football.
“2019 was a bigger win just for women in general. I think we stood for so much more, so I think it was just great to see that we took a risk on ourselves – we bet on ourselves and that paid off.”
Nor has Morgan any plans of resting on her laurels or stopping anytime soon. The 2019 world title and raft of individual honours have only motivated her to achieve even more. With that in mind, she says her wish for 2020 is “for good health, more success for this team and to continue on the path that I’ve set for myself”.