On the heels of a sensational goal scoring run this year, forward Alex Morgan has been voted the 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
This is the second U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award for Morgan, who also took home the honor in 2012 when she finished the year with 28 goals and an Olympic gold medal.
After closing out 2017 on a goal scoring roll, Morgan continued her stellar form in 2018 and finished the year with 18 goals in 19 games while picking up three assists. Her 18 goals in 2018 were by far a team-leading mark and were also the second most she has scored in a calendar year in her WNT career, behind only 2012. She finished the year with 98 career goals, two shy of the century mark.
In 2018, Morgan scored against nine different countries. She tallied in the first game of the year against Denmark, and also scored against Mexico, China PR, Japan, Brazil, T&T, Jamaica, Canada and Scotland. She had six multi-goal games, including a hat-trick against Japan in the Tournament of Nations, and moved to third place all-time in U.S. history in multiple-goal games, tied with Michelle Akers (26), and behind only Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38).
Morgan won the Golden Boot as the top scorer at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, pounding in seven goals over the five matches, though she only played in four of those games. Her two goals in the semifinal win against Jamaica helped send the USA to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and she bagged a clinching goal in the 2-0 championship game win against Canada.
For the Orlando Pride in the NWSL, she played in 1,500 minutes over 19 games and had five goals with two assists.
“It was an incredible year for the U.S. Women’s National Team, going undefeated, and there were a lot of players that stepped up and played essential parts in leading this team,” said Morgan. “Of the five of players nominated, anyone was deserving, so I am incredibly honored to have won this award.”
“After having a club season with Orlando that I didn’t anticipate, I’m just happy that I was able to contribute in this way to the National Team, especially leading into a World Cup year, as it was important for the whole team to gain confidence and momentum,” added Morgan. “To be named captain with Megan and Carli, I felt I was challenged to succeed in a really positive way and was comfortable growing into this larger role with the team. I’m also pleased that I was able to improve and evolve in my play along the way. There’s a good energy to the team right now and we’re all really looking forward to getting started next year.”
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer earned the first Female Athlete of the Year honor. The Young Female Player of the Year honor was first awarded in 1998, with 2018 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Cindy Parlow earning the honor. Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female award more than once.