On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. This year's nominees include forwards Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, midfielders Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Today we continue to make the case for each of the candidates with WNT forward, Alex Morgan.
After battling injuries in 2014-15, Morgan had a strong 2016, kicking off the year in her home state of California, where she earned her 100th cap, the 34th U.S. woman to do so, and scored her first goal of the year in a win against Ireland in San Diego.
Morgan went on to score 17 goals in 21 games in 2016 (tied for the team lead with Carli Lloyd), her second highest goal total in a calendar year in her seven-year career with the WNT. She also had three assists. The only other time Morgan scored double-digit goals for the USA in a calendar year was in 2012 (28 goals), when she earned her first (and to date, only) U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award.
Even though Morgan already has many unforgettable goals in her career, she added two very special ones in 2016 during the SheBelieves Cup. First, there was the dramatic stoppage-time goal against France on March 6; and of course, her sublime game-tying goal against Germany – which is easily a contender for the one of the best of the year – three days later.
Additionally, Morgan, now with 73 international tallies in 120 caps, is within two goals of tying Cindy Parlow for seventh on the USA’s all-time scoring list.
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, Morgan scored the game-tying goal against Sweden in regulation that took the game into extra time. Her goal was her sixth Olympic goal, which placed her in sole possession of third place behind Carli Lloyd (8) and Abby Wambach (10) on the USA’s Olympic goals-scored list.
In her first season with NWSL expansion club Orlando Pride, she played in 15 matches while scoring four goals with one assist.