Alex Morgan Serves as Inspiring Role Model for Young Female Soccer Players
Alex Morgan is an Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. She is a forward for the Orlando Pride and NWSL champion, a US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and a member of the USWNT’s All-Time Best XI squad. Alex Morgan is America’s sweetheart female soccer professional and, as her website says, a proven winner at an age when few can say the same. Here is a heartwarming personal story from GoalNation columnist Stanley Holmes on how Alex Morgan is happy to give back and inspire youth soccer players.
As a favor to her then boyfriend (now husband) Servando Carrasco, America’s star player Alex Morgan agreed to spend half a day with my U15 girls’ premier team. Those five hours on a Sunday afternoon captured one simple truth for women who want to carve careers out of a mostly male-dominated soccer world: role models and networking are critical!
No one was thinking about a career in soccer back then. Sure, Alex was already a World Cup star, playing for the Sounders Women and capturing national endorsements.
Alex was one of the few women actually living the dream. My girls were all dreaming of being Alex one day – or at least playing soccer in college, getting a degree, then finding a job, a spouse, and maybe play in the adult leagues.
But this exchange between mentor and student changed everything. In this perfectly natural setting, one of America’s brightest female stars shared her life’s story with other young female soccer geeks still trying to figure out who they were and what they really wanted out of the sport.
Alex’s presence helped inspire four girls to reach the collegiate ranks, where they completed their freshmen seasons this year, at D1-D3 schools. Others are playing club ball at large D1 universities. Another group likely kept their passion for the sport, as it was changing, flagging or evolving. Not every girl wanted to play college soccer. But they certainly loved playing with their teammates, they loved the game and they loved to compete.
Alex’s influence was one of many special moments for these girls. It made them think about possibilities that perhaps they had shrugged off. It would serve as a fond memory that later could be a catalyst to ultimately bring some of these young women back to the sport as coaches, club officials, soccer executives, and yes, as very informative soccer moms (watch out).
As a player who graced the US National Team, Alex believed she had a responsibility to give back and serve as a role model to young female players.
When Alex and Servando arrived at my house, she enthusiastically and patiently played her role. She went to the park and played garbage can soccer with our team. She posed for endless photos and selfies with all of the players. She gave an inspiring motivational speech and answered questions from the girls. And she indulged in my wife’s homemade pizza with the team.
During this time, ideas were informally exchanged. Girls got motivated to discuss soccer with Alex. They listened to her story about her humble beginning at a modest SoCal club. She talked about the importance of playing other sports at younger ages, she stressed the importance of self-belief and confidence, and she inspired them to think big.
It’s not the only way, but I can’t think of a better way to inspire more young women to get involved in the sport we all love.