The Portland Thorns got some great players through the NWSL allocation and were widely regarded as the big winners of the day. The most exciting name on the list for Portland soccer fans was USWNT forward Alex Morgan.
Growing up in Diamond Bar, California in the L.A. area, Morgan played a handful of sports, but did not get serious about soccer until the relatively late age of 14, when she joined a club team. Her delayed start did not stop her from getting call-ups to the U-17 and U-20 national teams just a few years later. Morgan was also highly successful with her college team and was the leading scorer for the University of California, Berkeley for all four years of college. She graduated early with a degree in Political Economy and went on to be the number one overall pick by the Western New York Flash in the 2011 WPS draft.
Morgan's first cap with the senior national team came in 2010, and the world first started to take notice of her in earnest during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where she was the youngest player on the U.S. team. If she was hinting at what she was capable of in 2011, she laid it all on the table in 2012. At the Olympics, Morgan scored three goals and assisted four, and over the course of a year, she led the team in goals, assists, and multi-goal games.
The 23-year-old already has an impressive list of accolades and accomplishments. Here are a few.
- Herman Trophy Finalist
- 2011 WPS Championship
- 2008 U-20 Women's World Cup Champion
- 2011 Women's World Cup, runner up
- 2012 Olympic Gold Medal
- U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year
- 3rd in Ballon D'Or voting
It has been said before, but it bears repeating: with Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair, the Thorns look very likely to have the most dangerous and exciting attack in the league. While both players can score goals in bunches, Morgan is also great at setting them up. Expect to see her not just getting her own chances, but assisting goals by Sinclair and her other teammates as well. These two should make it a fun inaugural season.