For the first time in almost a year, Alex Morgan was given a spot in the starting lineup for the U.S. Women’s National Team and didn’t disappoint as the U.S. defeated Canada 4-0 in the final qualifier for this summer’s London Olympics.
Morgan was involved in all four of the U.S.’s goals, scoring the first, assisting Abby Wambach on the second and third, and again finding the net herself to score the fourth and final goal of the game.
The combination of Morgan and Abby Wambach playing together up top, a combination which many USWNT fans have been clamoring for since its rousing success in last summer’s World Cup, delivered almost immediately.
In front of a raucous Canadian home crowd, Morgan silenced the crowd almost immediately as she got on the end of a flicked header from Wambach to slot by the Canadian keeper in only the fourth minute of the game.
In the 24th minute, Morgan made the most of her outstanding pace to get behind the Canadian defense and served the ball across the face of the net for an outstanding header by a streaking Wambach.
Only five minutes later, Morgan again connected with Wambach as Morgan unselfishly found Wambach on the six for the third goal of the game.
Shortly after the half, Morgan wrapped up the game’s scoring, breaking in behind the Canadian defense, beating two defenders and the keeper for the game’s fourth goal.
Morgan’s performance will have even more U.S. fans wondering why U.S. manager Pia Sundhage has been so reluctant to start Morgan given her clear ability to produce dominant performances.
Morgan’s outstanding game also threatens to throw a monkey wrench into Sundhage’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, as the team is clearly better with Wambach and Morgan combining in a two striker formation.
The convincing win over Canada, certainly no slouch in the women’s game, gave the United States a 5-0 record in the tournament with a +38 goal differential and five shutouts.
John D. Halloran