Dec 25, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT
It’s so easy to forget how young Alex Morgan is. And equally easy to forget how far this goal-scoring wonder has come in such a remarkably short time.
She was barely a starter to begin the season – and yet look at her now:
She is the new Mia Hamm, the complete bundle, an All-American-type blessed with oodles of skill, humble beneath the bright lights, comfortable in her own skin, willing to be the spokesperson and appreciative that so many pony-tailed Saturday morning superstars are falling over at the very prospect of standing near her.
Clearly, Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Carli Loyd and others had their say in the remarkable year just completed by a U.S. women’s team that went a full year at pedal-to-the-metal high rev.
But Morgan pitched in significantly too as the team lost just once in 32 matches (a 28-3-1 record) while claiming Olympic gold in the London Games. The Californian was U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year … well, never mind that, really, because she was pretty much everyone’s U.S. player of the year.
Morgan’s statistical contributions to the calendar year: 28 goals and 21 assists. Truly, the numbers become stunning as they keep tumbling forth:
Her 28 goals were third-best ever in a U.S. Soccer calendar year, behind only Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) and Michelle Akers (39 in 1991).
She was the youngest to join the 20-goal club.
Morgan’s 21 assists tied her for the second-most in a calendar year, just one off Hamm’s mark from 2004.
“Looking back, it’s amazing to look at the stats,” Morgan told Foxsports.com. “I don’t know that I dreamt of making those numbers.”
But it wasn’t just the statistics, it was the big moments. Who could forget how she helped save the drive for Olympic gold with that late goal in Manchester?
Oh, sorry … I got carried away in the wash of numbers and accolades. I forgot to mention the main point here: She’s only 23.
What a career this talented young woman has ahead of her.
Others in the Top Three – No. 2: Landon Donovan
Others in the Top Three – No. 3: Jurgen Klinsmann
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