Alex Morgan: American Striker Is Key for USA Women's Soccer Gold Medal
As the United States prepares to close out pool play against North Korea on Tuesday, grasping a gold medal isn't that far away.
Alex Morgan, the team's youngest player, is at the center of it all.
After a 3-0 victory over Colombia in their second game of the tournament, a game where Morgan had an assist, the Americans are continuing their strong run from last year's World Cup.
As a bench player in the World Cup, Morgan had a significant impact on the team but was unable to overcome the Japanese in the final match of the tournament.
Now, Morgan is a starter for Team USA, and has the mindset of a true champion.
Morgan said in an interview with SI.com:
All that is in my mind right now is the Olympics. Anything that comes from that afterward, I'll deal with then. I'm just trying to enjoy the moment. Like Pia says live in the moment.
In their opening match of the 2012 Olympics, the United States fell behind early with a 2-0 deficit to France before storming back for a 4-2 victory.
Morgan finished with a pair of goals in the win and has been just as essential to the team as she was last summer.
The Diamond Bar, California native has given the Americans another exciting player to follow as the team looks to bring home the gold.
With Abby Wambach in her 30s and Hope Solo fairly close, Morgan will be the next superstar for women's soccer in America.
Do you think Alex Morgan is the most important player for Team USA?
Her importance to the team goes far beyond the soccer pitch.
Her strong following with up-and-coming female soccer players who idolize her, as well as the men who admire her beauty, has helped regenerate a following for women's soccer in the U.S.
Although it's unlikely she'll take her jersey off if she scores the tournament-winning goal, she will still give fans something to talk about.
Teams benefit from a strong supporting fanbase, and with Morgan on the team, the support has only gotten bigger.
But, like Shania Twain said, "She's not just a pretty face."
Morgan is one of the most talented players on the U.S. national team, and her assist on Megan Rapinoe's goal in the first half to give the Americans a 1-0 lead over the Colombians was crucial.
Morgan has shown no signs of slowing down since her World Cup performance where she scored in both the semifinal and the championship game of the tournament.
At the ripe age of 23, Morgan brings youth, tenacity and a strong following to a U.S. Olympic team that would love nothing more than to leave London with the gold medal.
As long as Morgan is on the field, the Americans will always have a shot to win it all.
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