2012 Female Athlete of the Year Winner Alex Morgan: “I Want to Keep Improving and Continue to Make an Impact on this Team.”
ussoccer.com spoke to 2012 Female Athlete of the Year award winner Alex Morgan about her superb year in 2012, what helped her get to the top level, and her motivation to keep improving and look towards the next World Cup in 2015.
Dec. 3, 2012
ussoccer.com: Congratulations on being chosen as the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year. It was truly a memorable year. What memories evoke the most emotion for you?
© Craig Mitchelldyer/U.S. Soccer
Alex Morgan: “There were definitely a lot of games and memories that all came together to make a difference for me and create this dream of a year. The first game I started up top with Abby against Canada at the Olympic qualifiers is sort of what started it all. Scoring a couple of goals and winning 4-0 against them and being able to take advantage of the opportunities I was given is something I dreamt of, hoped for and imagined myself doing. The second biggest memory is receiving that gold medal around my neck and being able to sing the national anthem as loud as I could when our flag rose. Those are the memories I will forever have about 2012 and the beginning of my career.”
usoccer.com: In what ways do you think you grew as a player the most this year?
AM: “On the field, I really grew more confident. For me, confidence is so important as a forward. As a competitor playing at the highest level of soccer, I think I became more confident and more composed and was able go on the field and know that everything was up to me. My attitude, the way I affected others, the way I contributed to the team, it was up to me and whether I really wanted it. There was something that clicked at the beginning of this year and continued on and hopefully it will keep continuing.”
ussoccer.com: You have scored 28 goals so far, an astronomical amount in this era of women’s soccer. What do you think was the main factor in your ability to put the ball in the net this year?
AM: “I think that confidence is a big part, but the one thing that really sticks out is Abby Wambach. She’s been my inspiration. She’s been my partner up top and has helped me grow into my role comfortably. I think that being able to feel comfortable with her on the field and being on the same page for every minute of the 90 minutes for every game has really made the difference this year.”
ussoccer.com: The other players nominated for the award (Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd) all had excellent Olympic Games. How well did the team come together this year?
AM: “All of the other players are surely deserving of this award as well. They made 2012 great for this team, with so many fantastic individual efforts and so many selfless efforts. Everyone wanted to put the team first so I congratulate them on their nominations and on doing so well in 2012. We all came together and there weren’t one or two who stood out. Everyone played so well and all the fans know everyone’s names. I look at the beginning of 2012 and then at the end, and I see so many of my teammates who have come into their own on the field. We’ve improved so much and became comfortable with ourselves. All those individual personalities rising to the challenges happened because everyone was so selfless.”
ussoccer.com: Can you talk about the fan support the team and yourself has received this year?
AM: “The fan support this year has been absolutely tremendous. They’ve really helped us want to play in front of them and want to step on the field, enjoy ourselves and give the fans a good show. Having that support at the Olympics and feeling it over there and back home really kept us motivated no matter how tired our legs were or how mentally drained we were. We wanted to bring it home for our fans and this country.”
ussoccer.com: What are your goals for next year and the coming years?
AM: “I want to keep improving and continue to make an impact on this team. I want continue to put the team first, help the team grow and obviously the World Cup in 2015 is on our minds every day.”