Alex Morgan: Why the Young Star Is Team USA's Most Important Player
Alex Morgan is the key to the United States winning the gold medal.
Abby Wambach will need to play well. The back line and Hope Solo will also need to be in top form. Morgan, however, is the most important piece of the gold medal puzzle.
First, she offers support to Wambach. Morgan may not be the established star that Wambach is, but she compliments her nicely. Wambach punishes defenders with her strength and aerial ability. Morgan, on the other hand, uses her speed and finishing ability to torture defenses.
Between the two of them, opponents must pick their poison, so to speak.
The United States likes to play a direct style of football, and Morgan is a very big reason that works.
She is intelligent with her runs, but it is her speed that makes all the difference. She can get behind the defense after the ball is played, ensuring that she is onside and still through on the goal. The buildup doesn't have to be as intricate with Morgan up front because she can simply outrun defenders.
Furthermore, Morgan's finishing ability is world-class.
Unlike Wambach, Morgan doesn't need someone to swing in a cross to be at her best. While that's a great skill to have, sometimes Wambach can be negated without even playing poorly. Morgan, on the other hand, likes the ball at her feet, which allows her to control her own success on the pitch.
Once she's behind the defense, Morgan needs to finish. She has done a good job so far, and she needs to keep it up. If Morgan doesn't finish, Team USA is primed to be upset. Chances only come along every so often; she needs to take advantage of them.
If Morgan isn't playing well, the United States will struggle to score. Without goals, they will leave other teams in the game and risk a potential upset.
Team USA is the best side in the tournament, and it's their gold medal to lose. With that said, if the team wants to win the gold, Morgan has to be at her best.
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