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Examining Alex Morgan’s amazing goal totals – Part II

Apr 27, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

Alex Morgan,  Abby Wombach

(Part II of the numbers, looking at the young U.S. women’s team striker and her prodigious goal production. Part I is here.)

U.S. women’s team forward Alex Morgan has collected 22 goals in just 38 caps. Six players in the current player pool have scored 22 goals or more. Below is the amount of caps needed for each active player to reach the 22-goal mark.

Name/caps/era

  • Abby Wambach: 34 (2001 – 2004)
  • Alex Morgan: 38 (2010 – 2012)
  • Amy Rodriguez: 73 (2005 – 2012)
  • Carli Lloyd: 95 (2005 – 2010)
  • Heather O’Reilly: 97 (2002 – 2008)
  • Shannon Boxx: 142 (2003 – 2011)

What happens if we put the same statistic (the amount of caps it took to score 22 goals) in a historical context? How does Morgan’s goal rate stack up against the five most prolific goal-scorers in program history? In descending order, they are Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers, and Tiffeny Milbrett. The answer? Quite well.

Name/caps/era

  • Michelle Akers: 22 (1985 – 1991)
  • Abby Wambach: 34 (2001 – 2004)
  • Alex Morgan: 38 (2010 – 2012)
  • Tiffeny Milbrett: 56 (1991 – 1996)
  • Mia Hamm: 60 (1987 – 1993)
  • Kristine Lilly: 72 (1987 – 1994)

Morgan is clearly keeping pace with other illustrious USWNT goal poachers of old. Let’s again compare her record against the top five goal-scorers in USWNT history. Only Michelle Akers and Abby Wambach had a larger goal tally at this point in their respective careers.

Name/amount of goals by 38th cap

  • Akers: 38
  • Wambach: 26
  • Morgan: 22
  • Milbrett: 12
  • Hamm: 12
  • Lilly: 7

Might Morgan be in contention for a historic year? She’s just 8 goals shy of the 20-goal threshold and it’s only April. If/when she reaches that milestone, she’ll become only the fourth USWNT player to score between 20 and 29 goals in a single calendar year.

Previous 20-goal year seasons:

  • Wambach – 2007– 20 goals
  • Milbrett – 1999 – 21 goals
  • Lilly – 1999 – 20 goals
  • Hamm – 1998 – 20 goals

And if we really want to get ahead of ourselves, only two players have scored 30 goals or more in one international campaign.

Previous 30-goal year seasons:

  • Akers – 1991 – 39 goals
  • Wambach – 2004 – 31 goals

Dig numerical patterns? Morgan will turn 23 on July 2. Abby Wambach had her most prolific year for the USWNT (31 goals) in the year in which she turned 24 years old. It was 25 years old for Akers, 26 for Hamm, 27 for Milbrett, and 28 for Lilly.

Morgan’s numbers are even more impressive given the improved global standard of women’s soccer today. With upmost respect to erstwhile USWNT stars, she’s operating on a different playing field. Adjustment to modern-era inflation might be required.

The 22 year-old’s goal production, much like her career, looks to be on a limitless trajectory.

  1. stackhousesoccer - Apr 27, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Michelle Akers, wow. I assume her amazingly short road to 22 goals had something to do with the level of competition at hat time?

  2. footballer4ever - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    As a football fan, i got to admire and enjoy the football level and skills the woman displayed at the last women’s WC. One thing the Men’s football version could learn and duplicate from the women’s version is that there’s no need to dive and fake being hurt.

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