In 2010, the USWNT faced one of the worst moments in the history of the program. In the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament, the U.S. lost to Mexico 2-1.
The loss in the tournament semifinals was the Americans' first ever loss to Mexico in 26 matches and put the U.S.’ World Cup qualification in doubt.
Because the U.S. did not make the final of the tournament, they were forced to play a home-and-away series against Italy for the final spot in the 2011 World Cup.
In the first leg, in Italy, with the game tied 0-0 in the 86th minute, Morgan entered the match.
Despite only having a handful of caps at that point and her college career having ended just one week earlier, it was Morgan’s 94th minute goal that made the difference as the U.S. went on to win the series 2-0.
In the 2011 World Cup, despite not starting a single game, Morgan was big when the team needed her to be.
In the semifinals against France, with the game tied 1-1 and the French outplaying the Americans for long stretches, Morgan entered the match in the 56th minute. She then scored the goal in the 82nd minute that put the game out of reach at 3-1 and put the U.S. into the finals.
In the finals against Japan with the score 0-0, Morgan again came off the bench and was the difference maker. She scored the go-ahead goal for the U.S. in the 69th minute.
The U.S. was unable to hold onto the lead, however, and the game went into overtime. Then again in overtime, Morgan stepped up, providing the assist to Abby Wambach as the U.S. went up again in the 104th minute.
One wonders if the U.S. would have won that game had Morgan been on the field from the start.
A year later in the 2012 London Olympics, with Morgan now firmly entrenched in the starting lineup, the U.S. excelled.
In the opening game of group play against France, Morgan scored both the equalizer and the goal that sealed the win.
In the second match of the group stage against Columbia, Morgan provided the game-winning assist that guaranteed U.S. advancement to the knockout round.
In the third game of group play against North Korea, Morgan again assisted on the game-winning goal.
Then, three days later in the quarterfinals of the knockout stage, Morgan once more, you guessed it, assisted on the game-winning goal.
In the thrilling semifinal match against Canada, it was Morgan’s beautifully-headed 123rd minute extra-time goal that won the match for the U.S.
And in the final, Morgan provided the assist on Carli Lloyd’s first goal against Japan.