Alex Morgan’s four most iconic moments for USWNT alongside her work away from the pitch

Alex Morgan has certainly made her mark on women's soccer, but her success on the pitch hasn't come without setbacks and some major controversy.

Alex Morgan has been a member of the USA's national team since 2010 and has since made 173 appearances as of March 2021, during which she has scored 108 goals.

The USWNT icon continues to reach landmarks in the game, in which many players could only dream of achieving - two World Cups, one golden Olympic Games, and her success is not just on the pitch; Morgan is a proven winner at all levels.

Businesswoman, tick. Author, tick. A social media sensation, tick. Her aura releases inspiration that reaches fans globally.

Morgan often thrives alongside her USWNT team-mates. But, if you had to narrow her career down to just a few iconic moments - what would they be? These are our favourites...

2011 Women's World Cup

Morgan scored in the 2011 World Cup final
Morgan scored in the 2011 World Cup final

Morgan was the youngest player selected for the USWNT, and her impact within the squad was on the rise.

In the quarter-final stages of the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, the USWNT defeated Brazil 5-3 on penalties.

The competition favourites progressed onto the semi-finals where they beat France 3-1. During this game, Morgan scored her first FIFA Women's World Cup goal in the 82nd minute to secure their victory.

Morgan and her team-mates then progressed onto the final against Japan, where she scored after coming on as a substitute at half-time, as well as assisting Abby Wambach's goal.

Unfortunately, Morgan's first World Cup did not have the fairytale ending as all hoped for. Japan managed to win 3-1 on penalties after the teams were level at 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Her performance led the aspiring star to finish eighth in the balloting for the 2011 FIFA World Player of the Year.

The 2012 London Olympics

In an intense semi-final game at the 2012 London Olympics, the USWNT faced Canada. Canada had led the game three times through a brilliant Christine Sinclair hat-trick, but the Americans did not lose hope as each time they came back fighting and snatched it in the closing minutes.

It seems that the USWNT never finish these games off the easy way, but they never accept defeat either. In the second half, the action was non-stop, with it developing into extra-time.

Six goals out of the seven scored were in the second half, the action was non-stop, as the quality and passion grew so did the noise and celebrations.

Morgan, aka "Baby Horse", scored the winning goal, with an unbelievably dramatic header in stoppage time at the end of extra time - the 122nd minute.

Prior to the goal, the forward went 391 minutes without scoring, she was proving to be solely a supplier, but every story has a hero and Morgan proved to be just that.

The USWNT went on to defeat Japan 2-1 in the final, in front of 80,203 fans at Wembley Stadium. It was once again a landmark for the women's game, as it was a record crowd for a women's soccer game at the Olympics.

The 2012 London Olympics was not only a landmark for the women's game, but it was also a milestone for the USWNT. The occasion marked the first time the USWNT won every game en route to the gold medal and set an Olympic women's team record of 16 goals scored.

2019 Women's World Cup

In the opening game, the holders showcased a devastating performance against Thailand, in which they scored 13 goals to nil. Morgan placed her name on the scoresheet five times and managed to assist three too.

The massive 13-0 thrashing meant that once again the USWNT were in the record books, this time for securing the biggest win in their history. In this game, Morgan also equalled Michelle Akers' record of scoring five goals in a single World Cup match.

In their next group fixture they played Chile and then Sweden, which they won 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.

With a huge goal difference in their group stage of +18, they were undoubtedly the competition's favourites. As they placed first in their group table they were facing France in the quarter-finals.

Morgan progressed into pouring salt into the wounds of many England fans at the 2019 Women's World Cup, with a goal and celebration in the semi-final. It is a sensitive subject that caused controversy between fans on Twitter.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan with the Golden Boot and Silver Boot, Women's World Cup 2019
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan with the Golden Boot and Silver Boot, Women's World Cup 2019

The USWNT went on to beat the Netherlands in the final of the Women's World Cup, in a game that they totally dominated. Their newest World Cup title means that they are the first team in history to win four Women's World Cup titles.

A leader for the next generation

And finally, our favourite iconic moment is Alex fighting for the rights of many.

Even if you're not a fan of soccer, you've most likely heard about the equal pay lawsuit that the US Women's National Team filed against the US Soccer Federation, in March 2019.

We are talking about the most decorated women's soccer team in the world, fighting for equality. Allegedly they'd faced gender discrimination in the form of lower rates of pay compared to the men's team, as well as subordinate training and playing conditions, coaching, travel arrangements, and medical treatment.

But, after a court battle that continued for over a whole year, the federal judge threw out the USWNT's discriminatory pay claim.

The ruling is undoubtedly a major setback for the whole team and females across the world.

But, the fight may not be over yet. Alex Morgan and team-mate Megan Rapinoe stated that they will continue to fight. In an interview with Good Morning America, they revealed their plan to appeal the ruling.

Morgan added: "The decision was out of the field for us. I think for both sides it was very unexpected. We will definitely be appealing and moving forward. If anyone knows anything about the heart of this team, we are fighters, and will continue to fight together for this."

READ MORE: Thierry Henry's most iconic moments for Arsenal, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls

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