It is hard to miss rising soccer star Alex Morgan. Not only is she taking the world of women’s soccer by storm, she is also drop dead gorgeous. She has posed in body paint for Sports Illustrated and was very recently ranked #66 on Maxim’s Hot 100 list. But even though she wears a bright pink headband on the pitch she is no beauty queen. She is a skilled striker with a killer instinct, who makes the most of every opportunity to send a precise and powerful shot into the back of the net.
There is no shortage of “rising star” articles with Alex Morgan’s name in the headlines. She put herself on the map in the World Cup last summer, scoring four important goals from the bench. Moving into 2012, she has refused to disappoint. In just 12 matched for the national teams, Morgan has racked up 13 goals and 8 assists. These are dominating statistics, especially considering the other capable strikers that saturate the U.S. Women’s lineup including living legend Abby Wambach.
So where does a soccer superstar like Alex Morgan come from? She got her start in the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO), an organization that laid the foundation for American women’s soccer starting in 1979 and was the breeding grounds of major superstars such as Julie Foudy and Mary Harvey. She also took time to conquer Division I college soccer, leaving Cal with 45 goals and a degree in political economy. If the winners of the 1991 World Cup were the “Title IX First Generation” and the 1999 winners were the “Title IX Babies,” where can we place Alex Morgan? I would say she leads the pack of the “Title IX Revolution.” If others are inspired by her example—and I guarantee you they already have been—American women’s soccer is about to step up above and beyond even their past glories.
But Morgan is more than just raw talent mixed with opportunity and combined with the world’s most popular sport. Her `statistics are incredible yes, but not defining. What truly sets her apart is how easy she makes it all look. And I don’t mean only when she is wearing cleats. After watching Alex chat with a reporter or pose in a photo shoot, one would think she has been doing it all her life. She has a natural poise that never falters and her infectious smile only disappears when she turns on her game face. This happy, positive energy is obviously the secret behind her fleet and fluid footwork. Do not take your eyes off of Alex Morgan, because the second you do, you are sure to miss something beautiful from America’s next biggest athletic superstar.
The trading card world is not blind to the impact of the gorgeous new ambassador of women’s soccer and Morgan has been featured on numerous cards from Upper Deck, Sports Illustrated for Kids and Topps. Already priced at lofty levels, they may be set for an explosion should Morgan and crew fare well in the summer Olympics or the next Women’s World Cup.