Alex Morgan regains form as United States begins road to the Women’s World Cup

September 30, 2014 Press

By Jeffrey C. Arnold

Alex Morgan is back.

The Portland Thorns and United States national team star forward has regained her form after a long and sometimes frustrating recovery from a stubborn ankle injury. Now, as her performances in two recent national team friendlies showed, she has re-established herself as one of the most dangerous strikers in the world.

“I feel like I’m at the top of my game right now,” Morgan said by phone from Houston. “I feel fit, I feel strong and everything has come back.”

Any doubt Morgan — and others — may have had about regaining her form were answered in the national team’s recent friendlies against Mexico.

Morgan finished with a combined three goals and three assists in the two games. She scored two goals and added three assists in an 8-0 win against Mexico in Sandy, Utah on Sept. 13. She followed that performance with a goal in the 4-0 win against Mexico in Rochester, New York, five days later.

Morgan has scored 49 goals in her national team career and is one goal shy of becoming the 10th women’s national team player to reach 50 career goals.

“I feel like, at this moment, I am where I was before the injury,” Morgan said. “But I’m still trying to improve and develop myself and my game so I can help the national team get to the World Cup.”

Morgan’s performances couldn’t have come at a better time for the national team. The U.S. will begin its quest for a trip to World Cup by qualifying through the CONCACAF Women’s Championship that begins Oct. 15.

Having Morgan back at peak form is exactly what USWNT coach Jill Ellis was looking for since she was named coach in May.

“For any striker, scoring goals is a great indication of form and Alex has been doing that,” Ellis said. “She’s not just finishing goals, but creating them as well so her value to our attacking core is critical. Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, she’s being very dangerous.”

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