May 9, 2011
BERKELEY - Four-year letterwinner Alex Morgan has added yet another accolade to her already impressive resumé on Monday, when U.S. senior national team head coach Pia Sundhage put Morgan on the 21-player roster for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
"We are all very pleased for and proud of Alex," California head coach Neil McGuire said. "She is an outstanding young woman who represented Cal in a first-class manner. I have no doubt she will continue to do the same for the U.S. senior national team. It gives us all great pleasure to see her achieve her goals."
Morgan is one of 12 players who will be participating for the first time, though the Diamond Bar, Calif., native is no stranger to international play. In 2008, Morgan helped lead the USA to the title at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile.
This past January, Morgan set Cal program history when she was the No. 1 draft pick in the Women's Professional Soccer draft, chosen by the Western New York Flash. The No. 1 draft pick capped off a thrilling past couple of months for Morgan, who spent much of the fall training and competing with the U.S. senior team. As a senior, she played in only 12 games with the Bears while helping the U.S. national team qualify for the 2011 World Cup. She graduated in December 2010, a full semester early thanks to her dedication in the offseason and summer, with a degree in political economy.
Despite being away from Berkeley for much of the season, Morgan ended her career as a Golden Bear the same manner in which she began it - as the Cal women's soccer team's season-leading scorer. She paced the Bears in goals (14) and points (30) and was first in the nation for the majority of the season in goal scoring. Morgan concluded her four years in Berkeley tied for the third all-time scorer in Bear history with 45 goals and in sole possession of third place in terms of points 107.
She capped off her Cal career with her first-ever NSCAA All-American honors, collecting first-team placement. A four-time All-Pac-10 selection, Morgan earned first-team conference laurels in 2010 and 2009 and was a player of the year candidate in both seasons.
The U.S. World Cup roster, which features three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders and four forwards, is a product of nearly three years of player evaluation during which Sundhage and her staff saw the U.S. women play 34 international matches in 2009, 2010 and 2011, conducted numerous training camps around the country and the world, and watched dozens of WPS matches. Since the 2008 Olympics, Sundhage has called up approximately 50 players for training camps and international games before settling on her final roster.
"It's a great feeling to have the roster chosen," said Sundhage. "Now that we have named the roster and are moving forward, we can't wait for the World Cup. Everybody is healthy and we have great players to choose from. You have all kinds of players that have different qualities on this roster, but all in all, they make up a good team. We have people that organize defensively, people that can step up when it really matters, people that are good in the air, people that are fighters and tricky ones as well."
Sundhage selected 14 players who were part of the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning team in Beijing, but just nine players on the roster have previous Women's World Cup experience.
The 2011 U.S. Women's World Cup Team finished a three-week training camp in Florida last Friday and will arrive in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday to begin training for a two-game series against fellow Women's World Cup qualifier Japan taking place on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium (3:30 p.m. PT on FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes) and May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (4 p.m. PT on ESPN2).
The USA will play its Women's World Cup Send-Off Match on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. (11 a.m. PT on ESPN2) before the players go on a break. The U.S. team will leave for Austria in mid-June for a pre-Women's World Cup training camp.
The USA, which has been drawn into Group C with Korea DPR, Colombia and Sweden, opens its tournament on June 28 in Dresden against the Koreans in a match that will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8:45 a.m. PT.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence)**, Jill Loyden (magicJack)*, Hope Solo (magicJack)**
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers)*, Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers)**, Ali Krieger (out of contract)*, Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers)*, Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat)*, Christie Rampone (magicJack)****, Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)*
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (magicJack)***, Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC)*, Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence)*, Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat)**, Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC)**, Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)*, Lindsay Tarpley (magicJack)**
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers)*, Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash)*, Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)*, Abby Wambach (magicJack)***
* First Women's World Cup