Dec. 3, 2012
BERKELEY - California alumna Alex Morgan added another honor to her growing collection of awards when U.S. Soccer named her its 2012 Female Athlete of the Year, the national soccer federation announced on Monday.
"We are very happy to see Alex receive such a prestigious award," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "It is a well deserved honor as she continues to establish herself as one of the world's best players."
Morgan joins Joy (Biefeld) Fawcett - who won in 1988 - as the only Cal alumnae to claim the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award, which is the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States. Online votes registered on U.S. Soccer's Facebook Page counted for 50 percent of the total votes, while the other 50 percent was represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including national team coaches and members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.
The Female Athlete of the Year award is the first for Morgan and it comes in the Diamond Bar, Calif. native's first time on the ballot. The forward leads all U.S. scorers in 2012 with 28 goals which is good for third-best all time in a calendar year behind Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) and Michelle Akers (39 in 1991). Morgan has also compiled a team-leading 19 assists in 2012, the fourth-most in a single year.
She made a big impact on the U.S. team's run to the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she scored the winning goal in the semifinal match against Canada in the third and final minute of extra time at the end of the second overtime period, sending the United States to the gold medal match against Japan. It was the latest goal ever scored in a FIFA competition. In the final - a 2-1 win against Japan - Morgan assisted on a Carli Lloyd header for the first U.S. goal. Morgan scored three goals and had four assists in her first Olympic Games, also scoring twice against France.
The former Bear still has three matches left to play as the USA finishes its Fan Tribute Tour, with matches against China on Dec. 8 in Detroit, Dec. 12 in Houston and Dec. 15 in Boca Raton, Fla
Morgan's exploits have also earned her a place on the FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist