Mor­gan named US Player of the Year

The News Tribune - - Sports - As­so­ci­ated Press

Alex Mor­gan has been named U.S. Soc­cer’s Player of the Year for a sec­ond time after lead­ing the na­tional team with 18 goals in 19 games and help­ing it earn a spot in the World Cup next year in France.

De­fender Tierna David­son, who started in her first nine na­tional team ap­pear­ances, was named Young Player of the Year, U.S. Soc­cer an­nounced Fri­day. The 19-year-old’s col­lege sea­son at Stan­ford was cut short when she broke her an­kle in Septem­ber.

Mor­gan scored seven of her goals dur­ing the CONCACAF World Cup qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment this fall to earn the Golden Boot. The U.S. won the tour­na­ment and earned a spot in the World Cup. Mor­gan also has three as­sists and has logged 1,500 min­utes this year, most of any player on the team.

Mor­gan also earned Player of the Year honors in 2012, when she had 28 goals and helped the na- tional team win an Olympic ti­tle.

The U.S. women’s team, ranked No. 1 in the world, went un­de­feated in 2018 with 19 wins and two ties. That ex­tended the team’s over­all un­beaten streak to 28 games, dat­ing to a 1-0 loss to Aus­tralia in the 2017 Tour­na­ment of Na­tions.

The draw for the World Cup is set for Satur­day in Paris. The United States is the de­fend­ing cham­pion, hav­ing won in Canada in 2015.

Mor­gan cur­rently sits at 98 ca­reer in­ter­na­tional goals.

“To be named cap­tain with Me­gan (Rapi­noe) and Carli (Lloyd), I felt I was chal­lenged to suc­ceed in a re­ally pos­i­tive way and was com­fort­able grow­ing into this larger role with the team,” Mor­gan said in a state­ment. “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 other nom­i­nees for women’s player of the year in­cluded Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath, Lind­sey Ho­ran and Rapi­noe.

The vot­ing panel in­cludes the na­tional team coaches, play­ers who have made at least one ap­pear­ance with the team this year, mem­bers of the U.S. Soc­cer Board of Di­rec­tors, mem­bers of the me­dia and other se­lect pan­elists.

MAR­CIO JOSE SANCHEZ AP

The United States’ Alex Mor­gan takes a shot on goal against Chile dur­ing the first half of an in­ter­na­tional friendly on Aug. 31 in Car­son, Calif. Mor­gan had 18 goals in 19 games this year to lead the na­tional team.

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