Alex Morgan to Miss First Major Soccer Tournament Since 2011

Alex Morgan to Miss First Major Soccer Tournament Since 2011

  • Alex Morgan has been a staple of the US women’s soccer team since she debuted in March 2010, and her first major tournament, the 2011 World Cup.
  • The 34-year-old striker has scored 123 goals in 224 appearances for the national team, winning Olympic gold and bronze medals, and two World Cups.
  • New US head coach Emma Hayes is going with a more youthful approach, as their average age of 26.8 is the lowest since 2008.

Alex Morgan is synonymous with the US national women’s soccer team. Since her debut in March 2010, she’s been one of the most well-known players in women’s soccer and among the best players to wear the national team jersey, women, or men.

But the United States is going into a new era under head coach Emma Hayes, who took the job after winning eight Women’s Super League titles in England with Chelsea. That era won’t include Morgan, who wasn’t named to the 2024 Paris Olympics team. The team was announced on Wednesday, June 26, on the US Soccer website.

It’ll be the first major tournament since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in which Morgan won’t be on a US soccer team.

Why is Alex Morgan Not Going to Paris?

The truth is, Morgan isn’t the player she used to be, which happens to all high-level athletes at some point. Morgan plays for San Diego Wave FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. She has played eight of their 14 games so far, starting six. The star is still looking for her first goal of the season and has notched only one assist.

In San Diego’s last game, a 2-1 loss against NJ/NY Gotham FC, Morgan played 45 minutes and didn’t manage a single shot. That was the second time this season that has happened.  

Morgan didn’t even make the initial squad for the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup in February, joining the team later as a replacement for Mia Fishel, who tore her ACL. However, Morgan still managed to score two goals for the Americans, who won the tournament in a 1-0 final victory over Brazil.

To her credit, Morgan expressed her disappointment on X in very respectful manner:

Hayes is going with more youth up front. 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw was named Best Player at the Gold Cup, scoring four goals. 22-year-old Trinity Rodman and 23-year-old Sophia Smith are also going to Paris, joining veterans Mallory Swanson and Crystal Dunn. Most Olympic betting sites still have the United States favored to claim gold on the women’s site, but they’ll have stiff competition from Spain, England, and France.

What is Alex Morgan’s Legacy?

This does nothing to taint Morgan’s legacy. Even if she never plays for the national team again, Morgan’s 224 appearances rank her ninth for the US national team, and her 123 goals make her the fifth most prolific goalscorer. Her 2012 year is one of the best that any player, men or women, has ever had.

Morgan scored 28 goals in 31 appearances for the national team, culminating in a gold medal at the Olympics. She scored the winner in injury time of extra time to beat Canada in a 4-3 thriller, and picked up an assist for Carli Lloyd in a 2-1 victory over Japan in the final.

Furthermore, Morgan increased the profile of women’s soccer in the United States. The National Women’s Soccer League started in 2012, coming off the back of the gold medal at the Olympics. Morgan played there from 2013-2021, playing a few games for French powerhouse Lyon in 2016-17, and England’s Tottenham in 2021.

You could argue that Morgan is on the Mount Rushmore of US women’s soccer, with Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Mia Hamm (and one more spot for Brandy Chastain).

While she is rightfully disappointed in not making the team, Alex Morgan is one of the most important figures in the rise of women’s soccer (and women’s sports) in the United States.  

About the Author
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Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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